Quarterback Jake Plummer announced his retirement on Sunday, just one day after being traded from the Denver Broncos to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
News of the trade of Plummer from Denver to Tampa Bay first leaked out on Friday after rumors that Plummer would rather retire than play for an NFL team other than the Denver Broncos. Plummer was traded to the Buccaneers in exchange for a conditional pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.
Plummer lost his starting job with the Broncos to first round pick and rookie Jay Cutler late in the NFL season. Cutler started the final five games of the 2006 season. Plummer had lead Denver to a 7-4 record to that point.
Despite the 7-4 record Plummer struggled and had a passer rating of only 70.5, which was 14th out of 15 AFC quarterbacks. He also completed only 55.2 percent of his passes.
The 32-year-old Plummer spent four seasons in Denver and led the Broncos to one AFC Championship Game during the 2005 season. He spent the first six years of his career with the Arizona Cardinals after starring collegiately at Arizona State.
The retirement was confirmed on the Jake Plummer Foundation web site.
“I want to thank my family and close friends for their loyal support through all these fun-filled, roller-coaster years,” said Plummer. “Second, I owe all of my greatest achievements in football to the men who stood by my side as my teammates and coaches.
“Also a big thank you to the fans that have rooted for me through the ups and downs of my career.”
Rumors began circulating about Plummer’s future after Jay Cutler cemented himself as the Broncos’ starter. He appeared to have found a new home with Tampa Bay, but Plummer decided to call it quits instead of joining a crowded quarterback situation with a rebuilding Tampa Bay Bucs team.
The move seemed odd to Plummer because the Bucs had just signed free agent quarterback Jeff Garcia hours earlier and already had young quarterbacks Chris Simms and Bruce Gradkowski on the roster. By retiring, Jake Plummer made Tampa Bay’s quarterback situation a little less crowded.
Plummer played his best season in 2004, passing for a career high 4,089 yards and 27 touchdowns with the Denver Broncos. He led the Broncos to a 13-3 record the next season but struggled in his chance to play in an AFC Championship Game in a loss to the Pittsburg Steelers.
Plummer, a second-round draft pick in 1997, passed for 29,253 yards, 161 touchdowns, and 161 interceptions in 143 career games with the Broncos and Arizona Cardinals.