The 2009 season for the Bucs was awful. The off season has started out just as bad. Bucnut1 and Niko posted the fan shot earlier detailing Jermaine Phillips' arrest for domestic battery. The Bucs are aware of the situation and as they put it, "will monitor the situation closely."
This is surely not how Dominik, Morris, the Glazers, or Phillips wanted to start the off season. Phillips, of course is an UFA (Unrestricted Free Agent) heading into the 2010 off season. Safety is a position of need for the Bucs. We have seen a year plus of Sabby's work and it has been underwhelming to say the least. Flip is naturally a safety, after the failed experiment at linebacker (and let's hope we never venture down that road again).
A few months ago, I looked at Flip and how he compared in terms of games played to other strong safeties. You can take a look at that article here. With Sabby no better than a reserve right now, and the Bucs begging for help on the defensive line, Flip could have made a case to come back and be the strong safety, at least until our 2ndor 3rd round pick was ready to roll (assuming we take a safety).
My opinion of Phillips hasn't wavered much over the years. I was never blown away by the big hits, because for every big tackle, there were 2-3 missed tackles. He was a knockout artist who, if he did not connect on the first hit, had nothing left. He had average hands and was never known as a guy who could ball hawk in the secondary. His coverage skills were average and he seemed more likely to win the lottery than to catch an off target throw. That's not to say he didn't have his strengths or that he didn't help our team, I just never felt as if he was the solution to our safety needs. He certainly seemed to work hard and until now, assuming the allegations are true, seemed like a decent guy.
But with the latest antics comes the reality of the NFL. If you can't stay on the field and don't perform when you are on the field, the off the field incidents make it that much easier to cut bait with you. Coming off another injury plagued year, it was going to take a lot for him to stay with the Bucs. I'd be surprised if that door wasn't completely shut now. I said it in my previous article, and it seems to fit more now. Thanks for the memories Flip, we're almost certain we've seen the last of your days in Bucs uniform.