The Buccaneers will not exercise their contract offer on QB Trent Dilfer
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continued a busy day of roster development on Tuesday with an announcement on the contract status of QB Trent Dilfer. The team will not exercise its rights under the terms of Dilfer's contract, which would have resulted in a two-year extension to his original contract.
Accordingly, Dilfer now becomes an unrestricted free agent.
"There are many factors that go into our decision not to extend Trent's contract," Buccaneers General Manager Rich McKay said. "However, it's probably more appropriate at this time to emphasize that Trent has played a major role in helping us get this franchise turned around over the last six years. Trent has been a vital contributor to our two playoff appearances in the last three seasons and we wish him continued success in his NFL career."
After six years with the Buccaneers, Dilfer will continue his NFL career with another team. He originally joined Tampa Bay as a first-round draft choice in 1993.
"While I am disappointed that I will not be able to meet my goal of playing my entire career in Tampa, I am pleased by the Bucs' decision to not exercise the option on my contract," Dilfer said in a statement. "Given the situation that exists here in Tampa, I agree with the Bucs that it is best for everyone that I be permitted to move on to another team.
"I am very proud to have contributed to the playoff seasons we achieved this year and in 1997. Although there have been some difficult times, I will always remember the support my family and I received from so many wonderful people here in the Tampa Bay community."
Dilfer, 28, started 10 of the Buccaneers first 11 games this season before suffering a broken right clavicle in Seattle on November 28. After recording his 70th consecutive start against Chicago on October 24, a 6-3 Tampa Bay win, Dilfer was replaced by Eric Zeier for the team's seventh game, in Detroit on October 11.
However, Zeier suffered a significant ribcage injury in that 20-3 loss to the Lions and was sidelined for a month, propelling Dilfer back into the starter's role. The Buccaneers began a six-game win streak with Dilfer under center at New Orleans (11/7) and completed it under rookie Shaun King after Dilfer's injury. King went on to start the Buccaneers' last seven games, including the playoffs, compiling a 5-2 mark as a starter and an 82.4 regular-season passer rating.
In six seasons with the Buccaneers, Dilfer compiled a career 69.4 passer rating, completing 1,117 of 2,038 pass attempts (54.8%) for 12,969 yards, 70 touchdowns and 80 interceptions. He stands second on the franchise's all-time attempts, completions, passing yardage and interception charts and third in career touchdowns. His 76 career starts are the most by a quarterback in team history.