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Graham Remains A No-Show

Posted May 14, 2008 by Roy Cummings

Updated May 14, 2008 at 10:42 AM

TAMPA - When the Buc returned to the practice field for their fifth “voluntary workout of the offseason Wednesday, running back Earnest Graham wasn’t with them. Graham won’t say precisely why he wasn’t there, but you can pretty much guess the reason.

Graham, who is seeking a contract extension much like disgruntled quarterback Jeff Garcia, has obviously been advised by his agent to take a different approach to the matter than Garcia has.

Instead of showing up and participating in workouts the way Garcia is, Graham has been advised to sit out in an effort to reduce the risk of injury, which could really cut into his bargaining power. And unlike Garcia, Graham has also been advised not to talk about the situation.

“I’ve been advised not to comment on the situation,’’ Graham said earlier today. “I talked the last time about it and I probably shouldn’t have. I just can’t comment on it right now.’‘

That “last time’’ that Graham refers to was last month, after Graham failed to show for the first round of “voluntary workouts. Back then, Graham said the contract issue was not the reason for his absence. He said he was simply taking the time to be with his family and that he planned to participate in the next round of workouts, “after the draft.’‘

Graham didn’t make any such promise Wednesday. When asked if he’ll be around One Buc Place for the next round of workouts he said with a sigh, “I don’t know, man; I really don’t know.’‘

You get the feeling Graham would really like to be there but that he realizes he has to do what’s best for him. And if that means sitting out, it looks like he’ll continue to sit out. After all, this is his best chance yet to cash in on his talent.

Coming off a season in which he fell just short of the 1,000-yard rushing mark while producing more than 1,000 total yards, Graham has obviously earned the right to seek a raise of the $605,000 he’s slated to make in 2008. He also wants some security to go with that, so he’s likly looking for a three-, four- or five-year deal that pays him like the workhorse he was in 2007.

The Buc, on the other hand, have to be sure not to overpay Graham, who was little more than a special teams standout before last season. It’s a difficult position for the Buc, and it’s hard to tell at this point of a solution is anywhere near.

Reader Comments

Por (BUC DEEZ) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

E.G aka (Bowling Ball)  has paid his Tampa dues and deserves a bump in pay so whatever course he feels will help his situation i support GET PAID BRA (NOW’S THE TIME UR VALUE HAS BEEN PROVED)

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Por (Jamie) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Bruce Allen is putting himself into a bad position.  If he doesn’t renegotiate some of these contracts, the team will suffer.  There are too many piling up not to act on some of the. But now that he has waited until they are publically complaining, if he renegotiates, it will send the signal to others that all they have to do is complain and that will get action.  In the future, these things should get taken care of well before they get to this stage.

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Por (Mitch R) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

EG wasn’t complaing about making $600,000 when he was making tackles on special teams and leading the team in pre-season rushing yards.  Again, I don’t see the need to renegotiate a multi year deal with a guy that’s played in 10-12 games.  Let him back his solid season up with another (for that measily $600,000) and then look to make him a zillionaire.  The greed is unbelievable here.  I’ve seen players like him come and go and when they get paid, they fall into oblivion.  I have a feeling this is his agent’s (Rosenhouse) strategy and not Graham’s.

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Por (Billy S) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I agree with Mitch. I love what Graham did for the team but he should come in here and play hard another season. Chances are they are working on something for him anyways… I mean the draft was just a couple of weeks ago. There’s alot of stuff that has to get done and there’s alot of time left to get it done. The media stirs up all of this crap and I’m glad most of the posters on this site aren’t NFL GM’s.

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Por (chauncey mccain) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

b. allen must do this we don’t need one hit wonders like macfarland in all in all E.G aint all that good thats why we have a backup plan I think we should C.boyd a shot he can do the thing GRAHAM do catch out da back

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Por (BUC DEEZ) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

make that (proven) my error

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Por (Mitch R) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Chauncey, Can you please use English and repost, I think I know what you are saying, but I’m not 100%.

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Por (Dan) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Mitch, I agree with you. The man needs to come in again this season and prove to everybody that last year wasn’t a fluke.Then we can start talking money.
There is a reason why the Bucs signed 3 or 4 more RBs because they weren’t to sure about him either, or any other RBs we have. Warrick Dunn is not a has been, he might of droped off a little last year mainly because of the team he was with.“NO OL, and NO Coach” nobody was blocking for him. Their whole team last year totally sucked &$&$&%$. EG is going to have some compitition with Warrick Dunn.

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Por (Carl Johnson) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

We all know that Earnest Grahm is following the direction of his agent and in this case it may be a mistake. In light of the fact that EG stayed in the NFL based upon his effort and commitment to team, I don’t perceive last years work as a major reason to “cash in” for this 29 year old. This stay home can’t be good in light of the competition at running back. I believe Allen should reward EG based upon performance, not to the extent of the previous GM.

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Por (Timmy Hall) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I think they should give him a bump to 1 mil this year. that is It.tell him that if he goes out and play like he did last year,then they will up his contract. as for Garcia no way man. you signed a 2 year contract last year and was fine with it, shut up and play out your contract that you agreed on. I
am so sick of these player’s who make millons being so greedy. try geting a 8 hour a day job making 10-15 bucks an hour and see where that takes you. I bet that contract would seem very nice then. me and my wife is out every day trying to suport our 3 kid’s in this f*** up world. i’m losing my home to this crap , and you are out there cryin about you want more money. give EG some more money $6000.00 is not a lot of money.

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Por (paul) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

remember folks there was a reason E.G was a third string running back before pittman and cadillac went down with injuries last season. i say produce the numbers again and then talk about more money. look at clayton he had a good rookie season but what has he done since then. same thing with garcia. play your current contract out produce more and then see about an extension for both of them.

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Por (Dan) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Timmy, Well said.

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Por (Skylar) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

What ever happened to incentive-laden contracts? You get a raise if you produce a 1000 yards or go to the pro-bowl, etc. If you don’t reach expectations, then you don’t get more money. It seems simple to me, but apparently I’m missing something…oh yah, these guys are premadonnas. Graham should be happy he got a chance to showcase his talents (and he is talented,) and Garcia should be happy he’s gotten another chance in the NFL period.

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Por (Randall Man) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

The only reason he has been sitting on the bench is Gruden’s stubborness that he is right. The people who know football know that Cadillac was the third best running back on this team, before he got hurt, yet Gruden insisted on playing him as the one. Good for Graham, he has been wasted the last several years and he deserves to be compensated for it.

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Por (Robert A. Ries) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

If I hear one more person compare how hard they work making $10.00 - $15.00 per hour to a NFL player I am going to scream. There is no comparison. Look at the former NFL players from the 60’s,70’s and before. They cant walk and the NFLPA wont even take care of their medical expenses. Let these guys get their market value while they can. YOU are not paying for it. There are approximately 1500 guys on active rosters in the league. Look at the ratio compared to the population. They work their whole life to get to where they are. If the market value for a roofer for one year was 6 million I bet you would want it, but nobody comes to watch roofers. We do need them though, DONT BE A HATER!!!!

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Por (The Babysitter) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Granted,Graham deserves a raise more than his naggy quarterback, but this is just another case of “i want mo money”. It’s like paying someone to paint 3 houses as part of an agreement, for a certain price. After painting the first 2 houses, does the painter come back and say “yknow..i did a good job painting the first two houses. I want way more money for painting the 3rd house, even though it was part of the agreement.”
Way to screw up the season before it even starts, crybabies! At least Brian Kelly sucked it up and did it the right way. Thank God we got Griese, Dunn, and Bennett. Hey Graham and Garcia: why don’t you call up Keenan McCardell and see how that whole thing worked out for him.

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Por (Mitch R) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Robert, agreed, but the players of the 60’s and 70’s made absolutely no money, played in horrible conditions with horrible training and no offseason programs, thus they are really hurting for cash and their bodies are in bad shape.  You cannot compare them to the prima-donna’s of today who sign deals and then threaten to hold out if they have 1 good year.  Again, they wont offer to give money back if they don’t perform.  Let them play for the contract they sign and then in their Free Agency years, make their money.  Someone like EG should suck it up and play.  He did have a great year, but come on, he was a nothing and should be thanking his lucky stars that a no-one can make a $600,000 salary. Stop defending them.

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Por (Robert A. Ries) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

GRIESE!, He got benched for Rex Grossman twice.Dunn u r right. He may come in here and blow them away. Once again the analogy of the real world where we work and the NFL dont compare.If they dont give Graham the money and he comes out and runs for 1000+ it will cost them way more next year. Right now they could lock him down for a bargain.

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Por (Mitch R) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

And Robert, we do pay for it, in cable bills, satellite bills, stadium seats, concessions ($12 for a beer, come on), apparel, DVD’s, etc.  It all goes into the pot and divvy’d out to the teams to take care pay for salaries.

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Por (Mitch R) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Robert, again, don’t be naive, if we pay Graham this year and he gets 1,400 yards and 15 TDs next year, you better believe he will be holding out for more money next year too.  It’s a shame in the NFL that contacts aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.  Teams throw them out when players make too much and players hold out when the want a new one.  It’s a shame cause the fan pays the price in the long run.

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Por (Skylar) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Robert, I agree with you in some ways, but to say that we don’t pay for these salaries is, well, at best inaccurate. Where do you think the money comes from? Anyway, I think the babysitter is absolutely right and Garcia better watch out because the last time Greise was the starter, our team was lights-out! Randall Man, Caddy was well on his way to 1000 yards too when he got hurt, so don’t make silly presumtions like everybody know Graham was great or something. We’re all glad he played well and we all support him, but he was not on anybody’s radar to supplant Caddy.

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Por (Robert A. Ries) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Mitch, I agree with some of your points.However, why not give him an incentive laden contract with additional year options. If as I said he does have a good year it will cost us more to keep him. Whose to say. He could be another Clayton. I am just tired of the analogy of the real world workforce and Pro sports.

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Por (James R. Kinzer) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

The attitude of the team cannot be very good come training camp.  A team with players not giving 100%, is usually a losing team.  Would you give your employer 100% if other workers made more money than you and you out produced them??  These veterans that produced so well last year deserve to earn more money, especially Haye and Graham.  Veteran treatment like this is one of the reasons why GOOD free agents don’t want to come to Tampa and play for Gruden and Allen !!

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Por (Skylar) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

You’re right James; all the free agents we’ve signed are crappy. None have gone to pro-bowls and none are worthy of a football team other than the lowly Bucs. That’s just plain nonsense and no-one with a semblance of intelligence agrees with you. As I’ve said before; there’s no reason to get these deals done until after training camp. It just makes fiscal sense. Stop crying and start thinking logically.

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Por (Rerun) on May 14, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Hey James, ever think that those players may not make the roster if they’re not giving 100%? I guess that’s way too obvious for you to see huh? If they’re holding out, they’re not playing and if they got a new contract, they’ll be happy, so your point is mute. Sorry.

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