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Why the Buccaneers kept one of their players from reaching a phone for a day

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen White always has some hilarious stories from when he was a defensive end with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The latest story was told on the weekly SB Nation Onside Kick Family Hour podcastwith Danny Kelly and Ryan Van Bibber.

Apparently when White was a rookie, the Bucs needed a roster spot for a single game. They decided to waive White, hoping that he'd still be there at the end of the week so they could re-sign him then. The St. Louis Rams wanted to pick him up, though, and the Bucs got wind of it. So instead of giving up or maybe not waiving White, they instead called him into a room and tried to keep him away from a phone so the Rams couldn't get a hold of him. When the Bucs finally tell him what's going on, White decides to play along.

"This is right around the time when Dick Vermeil is catching hell he's putting the Rams through like, three-a-day practices during practices," White said. "You know he's old school and all the guys are complaining about it and going to the NFLPA and filing complaints and [stuff] so I'm like hell no, I don't want to go the Rams."

Vermeil wasn't actually the Eagles' head coach during his rookie season, so it's more likely to have happened during his second year, though.

In any case, it's a good thing that never went through, because White had a pretty decent career with the Bucs. 11 sacks as a part-time player over six seasons is nothing to sneeze at. Fun fact: on the first play of the 1999 NFC Championship game, Stephen White intercepted Kurt Warner. Had the Rams managed to get a hold of him, that certainly wouldn't have happened. And White may have had a Super Bowl ring with the Rams in 1999. He never got one with the Bucs: he left in free agency during the 2002 offseason.

You can listen to the full story below, starting at around 59:00. You should really listen to the entire thing, though, because these three guys put out a great podcast every week.