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saintswhodi 04-28-2005 09:16 AM

Why don't we have players like this?

Bucs' Quarles takes one for the team
The veteran linebacker agrees, on the eve of the draft, to a major pay cut.
Published April 28, 2005


TAMPA - Shelton Quarles agreed to a $1.5-million reduction in salary to remain with the Bucs, one day before the team used its second-round pick in the NFL draft on his likely replacement.

Quarles, who turns 34 in September, will earn $1-million in 2005 instead of the $2.5-million he was scheduled to make under the terms of his old contract.

The new deal was signed Friday, the eve of the NFL draft. The next day, the Bucs selected Nebraska middle linebacker Barrett Ruud 36th overall.

"It was definitely a tough decision, but I'm a team guy and when you're a team guy, you think differently," Quarles said. "I had opportunities to go to other teams (in the past) and make more money, but I chose to stay here and be with the team that gave me that chance ... It's a big pay cut, but I guess I'm a team guy to a fault."
Quarles, who made his only Pro Bowl appearance in 2002 after helping the Bucs to a Super Bowl title, showed little signs of slowing down last season. He recorded 163 tackles, 3.5 sacks and six passes defensed, all career highs.

But with Quarles entering his ninth NFL season and his 12th in pro football, the Bucs tabbed Ruud, the Cornhuskers all-time leading tackler, as the eventual starter at middle linebacker.

Quarles is under contract for three more seasons, but he'd likely have to continue to restructure to remain a Buc since he is scheduled to earn $3.1-million in '06 and $3.75-million in '07.

But Quarles believes he can play a few more years and is not ready to surrender his job to Ruud.

"I don't know that, but that's football," Quarles said. "There will be a time when I'm not around. When Hardy (Nickerson) was here, there was a time when no one thought he would not be with the Bucs. You get to a certain age and they don't think you can play. I don't think I'm old, I think I can play three or four more years."

The Bucs have said Ruud will begin his career working at strongside linebacker behind Jeff Gooch and Ryan Nece. But it's clear they don't expect him to spend much time on the bench.

"The way we've always done things here is we've never given anyone positions," said linebackers coach Joe Barry. "To say this guy can come in here and compete, there's no doubt about it. We wouldn't have drafted him in the second round if we didn't think he was capable of doing that."

Quarles' path to the NFL was much different from Ruud's. Undrafted out of Vanderbilt, he spent two years in the Canadian Football League before signing with the Bucs as a free agent in 1997. He played all three linebacker positions before earning a starting job on the strongside in '99. He moved to the middle in 2002 and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl.

The Bucs needed to clear about $4-million to $5-million from the salary cap sign their draft picks, and restructuring Quarles contract, will help in that effort. The team also wants to sign another veteran cornerback and receiver.

"I've been around for a while and I know football, I know how it works," Quarles said. "We're trying to get the best team on the field and hopefully I was able to help the Bucs get closer to doing that.

"Sometimes football is not all about money. I'm definitely not one of those guys who plays only for money. I play for the love of the game.

"I have had the opportunity to do some things and go some places because of football. I appreciate what football has done for me and I'm willing to do what I can to give something back."

Paging Wayne Gandy.

[Edited on 28/4/2005 by saintswhodi]

GoldenTomb 04-28-2005 09:35 AM

Why don't we have players like this?
You know....I really don\'t know what side of the fence to stand on. There\'s the side that says that you should honor your contract no matter what(ala the Eagles), but how can you ask someone to restructure their contract to benefit the cap if you aren\'t willing to restructure their contract to benefit THEM if the situation arises????

I guess I\'m of the belief that you should be allowed to have your contract redone if you consistently overacheive, provided the team is in a place to do so without jeapordizing the cap situation.

I believe that slowly but surely we are getting some of the high character guys that are willing to do things like this, like Will Smith.

4saintspirit 04-28-2005 09:44 AM

Why don't we have players like this?
With as many high profile guys getting cut because of salary cap problems his taking a pay cut may have nothing to do with being such a stand up looking team player -- just a thought

saintswhodi 04-28-2005 09:56 AM

Why don't we have players like this?
Good point 4saints, but that begs the question, are our guys above feeling like they will be cut even if their performance is declining or they have not achieved to a certain level? Whatever Quarles\' reason, he is taking one for the team. Do we have ANY players that would do that?

papz 04-28-2005 10:19 AM

Why don't we have players like this?
Come on now... if that were to happen in New Orleans, hell would freeze over.

JKool 04-28-2005 10:30 AM

Why don't we have players like this?
Gandy\'s sallary, if I recall correctly, is around the 5.5 mil mark. I think he should restructure. Problem is, is may still be the best tackle on the team.

JKool 04-28-2005 10:31 AM

Why don't we have players like this?
Also, as I understand it, Horn did just restructure. It must be getting pretty cold in hell?

ScottyRo 04-28-2005 10:35 AM

Why don't we have players like this?

Do we have ANY players that would do that?
I don\'t know, but the first question should be: Do we have any players in a circumstance similar to Quarles?

He\'s 34 and reportedly slowing down. Gandy immediately comes to my mind. He\'s scheduled to make $5.25M this year. I doubt he\'s going to be willing to take a cut, but I think he\'s overpaid.

Anyone else fit the description? Bellamy maybe, but he was just re-signed.

4saintspirit 04-28-2005 10:46 AM

Why don't we have players like this?
Problem is that our players are not in danger of getting cut for salary cap reasons -- Gandy should but why would he ===

JKool 04-28-2005 10:49 AM

Why don't we have players like this?
Actually, with only about 1 mil in cap space, and a need to have 3.8 mil to sign our rookies this year, I suppose it is quite possilbe someone might get cut to make room. In fact, this is a large reason that Pathon is no longer on the team.

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