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End of an Era: QB Chris Simms could no longer be a Tampa Bay Buccaneer

As you've all heard by now, Bucs QB Chris Simms has elected to skip Voluntary Team Workouts and did not attend last week's Quarterback Orientation for the first time in his career. No Simms isn't hurt, in fact he feels like he did before he lost his spleen to the Carolina Panthers defense:

"I'm back to 100 percent and just excited about getting back on the field again," he said. "I just think [skipping voluntary workouts] is in my best interest to continue my own workouts and to just wait and see what happens with the team," Simms said. "I don't really know what's going to happen. As far as the Bucs and the quarterback position goes, it's always an adventure." - St. Pete Times

That's the understatement of the year. It's taken me a while to get a firm grasp on that Quarterback Adventure, but I think I'm starting to understand it (hah, right). As for Simms, what a rollercoaster his career has been to watch..

For me, I hated when the Bucs spent a 3rd Round Pick on the guy back in '03. I didnt think much of him as a collegiate passer and I certainly didnt see how his lack of mobility was going to work in Gruden's offense (Simms sat out his entire Rookie Season). In 2004 I started to buy into Simms as our Quarterback of the Future, but a shoulder injury limited his ability to completely win me over. He did have me hoping Griese would get injured to start the '05 season so Simms could finish where he left off. Simms did get to play after Griese tore his acl mid-way through the season. That is when Simms completely won me over as a fan, so much so I bought his jersey (a true fan indeed). He didnt win in beautiful fashion, when had the Bucs Offense ever done that? But he showed toughness and an ability to rally his team for that final drive...

I don't know what happened to Chris between the '05 and '06 seasons. Maybe he got a big head with Griese being dumped and didnt completely focus on the season (Let's not kid ourselves, that O-Line had a HUGE hand in his lack of success). Never the less, he started '06 with 1 touchdown and 7 interceptions (and a freak load of batted passes) before the Carolina Panthers rocked his world... Damn you Panthers, Damn you!! Simms missed the entire 2007 season and left his future with the Bucs a relative unknown..

You would think for a guy that has shown so much and so little lately, that he would want to prove to the team he is Chris Simms circa '05 and is able to hold down that 3rd spot on the depth chart by showing up to Voluntary Workouts. As it stands, many believe Simms will be traded come Draft Day, but even more folks think the Bucs will outright release the guy (as he's slated to make $2 million this coming season). What a rollercoaster this guys career has been to watch. I hope he finds a way to make it back into Gruden's and the Fan bases good graces, but sadly, I think that ship has sailed...

Chris, here's to you forcing the Bucs to keep you around!!! Eh, good luck with that man..