June 4 saw the quiet end of several careers, getting little or none of the attention given to "the final cut" in late August/early September. Without actually being "waived" or "cut", these are folks simply not tendered offers for 2007. Some of these fellows will be picked up by other teams, but many won't. A lot of these players gave us some good times, and some aggravation, over the years. Here's a partial roll call: QBs: Vinny Testaverde, Todd Bouman, Shane Matthews, Koy Detmer (imagine!).
RBs: Stephen Davis, Chris Brown, Fred McCrary, Nick Luchey, Arlen Harris, James Mungro, Dee Brown, Patrick Pass, Fred McAfee, James Hodgins, Reno Mahe, Jerald Sowell, Tony Fisher, Chris Hetherington.
WRs: Troy Brown, Corey Bradford, Ricky Proehl, Terrence Wilkins.
TEs: Doug Jolley, Brian Kozlowski, Dave Moore.
K: Morten Andersen.
Most likely to picked up first is Chris Brown. Dave Moore is going to be a broadcaster for the Bucs, taking over for Hardy Nickerson. (I don't know why.) Fred McAfee, Ricky Proehl, and Vinny were late-season signings (McAfee was a re-signing) for playoff-bound teams not expected to be brought back. McAfee and Ricky have reportedly announced their retirements. Vinny of course will not accept the end until he falls one day on the shuffleboard court and breaks a hip. Ditto Morten. Can't someone just accept that when he's 90, he'll still hit 80% from within the 40, and use him from Week One? Someone out there needs Troy Brown...maybe...hmm...MIAMI? from whence came Troy's replacement Wes Welker?
Jolley may be the very last Raider Gruden will foist on the Bucs. Or not. It feels that he has more left--cliche alert--"in the tank". We'll see. Stephen Davis did well as Steven Jackson's backup with the Rams last year. Not well enough to stick, apparently. I like Patrick Pass. He could help someone if last year's injury isn't too serious. Always liked Kozlowski, can't remember if he's related to ex-Dolphin Mike K. A final word about Fred McCrary...this guy was cut and out of the NFL for all of '96 and '98 before settling into solid journeymanship. In 123 games, this guy got to carry 25 times for 31 yards. A little better with the catches...114 in all. Ah, the life of a fullback in the "modern era." Will he ever have a chance to raise that per-carry average to 2?
Good luck, gentlemen, and thanks for the memories.