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Simms signs contract extension with Buccaneers


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TAMPA, Fla. ? (AP) ? Rather than test free agency at the end of the season, injured Tampa Bay quarterback Chris Simms is remaining with the Buccaneers.


Simms, sidelined since the third week of the season after having his spleen removed, signed a two-year contract extension Wednesday and looks forward to trying to regain his starting job in 2007.


Terms of the contract were not released, but Simms described the deal as ?? starter's money'' that shows coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen are committed to him leading the offense.


"It's definitely a load off my shoulders,'' Simms, wearing a T-shirt bearing the words "got sple ere and

definitely like the organization. I'm happy it's all done.''


Simms, the son of Super Bowl-winning quarterback Phil Simms, replaced the injured Brian Griese last season and made 10 starts en route to helping the Bucs win the NFC South and earn a playoff berth for the first time in three years.


He and the team entered training camp with high expectations this year, but the 26-year-old quarterback's

season came to an abrupt end in Week Three when he took several hard hits during a loss to the Carolina Panthers and wound up in the hospital after the game.


The Bucs initially believed Simms had bruised ribs and was battling dehydration before he was taken to the emergency room, where it was determined that his spleen was ruptured and needed to be removed.


"It's great to have him back. It's unfortunate that he had an injury to disrupt his season,'' Gruden said. "He's a young guy who's paid a price and we're excited to have him back.''


Simms was 0-3 and had thrown for one touchdown and seven interceptions when he was injured. Rookie Bruce Gradkowski went 3-8 over the next 11 games and Tim Rattay won his first start of the season last week at Cleveland.


Simms, who expects to make a full recovery, said his injury had nothing to do with his decision to not test his worth on the open market.


"Nothing's guaranteed anywhere. ... It comes down to what I'm comfortable with and what I like,'' the quarterback said.


"The grass isn't always greener on the other side. I like the offense. I like coach. I like the direction the

organization is going. At the end of the day, there's a lot more ifs about what's going to happen out there in free agency than what's going to happen here.''



intresting that he would sign up...the injury had to make some of that decision!!

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"SIMMS TO BE TRADED? (http://www.profootballtalk.com/rumormill.htm)


A league source tells us that the father of Bucs quarterback Chris Simms recently has been overheard saying that he expects his son to eventually be traded to the Dallas Cowboys.


Another league source, however, tells us that Simms won't be traded.


Simms' father, former Giants quarterback Phil, works as the No. 1 analyst for CBS.


The younger Simms has signed a two-year extension to remain with the Bucs. Our friends at WDAE radio in Tampa tell us that the deal is worth $10 million, with a $3 million signing bonus.


Per a league source, the $3 million will be prorated over 2006, 2007, and 2008. Thus, a pre-June 1 trade in 2007 would result in a cap charge of $2 million. The source says that the deal also includes a $2 million base salary for 2007, and a base salary of $2 million for 2008, plus incentives.


In Dallas, starter Tony Romo is signed through 2007. He's scheduled to earn $1 million next season.


If Simms isn't traded, then the move suggests (as we recently explained) that coach Jon Gruden and G.M. Bruce Allen are safe for another year. If Gruden and Allen were on the outs, we doubt that a decision on Simms would have been made before a new coach and/or G.M. had been hired."


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