DENVER - Eric Plummer knew something was up when his brother, Jake, asked him recently about whether he should retire from playing football.
Jake Plummer's status with the Denver Broncos remained in limbo Friday night. The quarterback who lost his starting job last season reportedly would rather retire than accept a trade to Tampa Bay, as the NFL Network and other media sources reported.
"The couple of times he broached the subject with me, I felt like he was done," Eric Plummer told The Associated Press on Friday night. "As soon as the season was over, he was talking about the fact he didn't know if he wanted to keep playing anymore. He never decided 100 percent."
The Broncos and Buccaneers had reportedly worked out an agreement that would send the QB to Tampa Bay in exchange for a middle-round draft pick.
But Plummer, who has three years left on his contract and is due $5.3 million in 2007, is reportedly balking at the possible trade.
Had he accepted the trade, Plummer would have challenged Tampa Bay's Chris Simms for the starting job.
Plummer, 32, struggled all last season, finally losing his starting job to rookie Jay Cutler with five games left. It was a fast fall for Plummer, who led the team to the AFC title game in 2005 when he threw for 3,366 yards, 18 touchdowns and just seven interceptions while making the Pro Bowl.
He reverted to his old ways last season, throwing 13 interceptions to go with 11 touchdowns.
Plummer was 40-18 as Denver's starter, including a 1-3 mark in the playoffs.
"It's professional football. You bring players in every year," Cutler said while at an event for his foundation. "That's part of football, and with Jake, you know there are no hard feelings between us whatsoever." Denver lost free agent defensive end Patrick Chukwurah to Tampa Bay, as he agreed to a five year, $5.5 million deal. Chukwurah will be paired again with Larry Coyer, who was fired as Denver's defensive coordinator in January and then hired as Tampa Bay's defensive line coach. "It's a comfort level for him," Chukwurah's agent, Ron Slavin, said. "He's excited to go there." The Broncos were reportedly close to a deal with tight end Daniel Graham, who played for New England last season. But Graham's agent, Jack Mills, said that's not the case. "It's totally erroneous. He still has visits with Oakland and Seattle," Mills said. Cutler says he's certain of one thing about Plummer: Once he makes up his mind, it tends to stay that way.
"I think if Jake says he's going to retire, then Jake is going to go travel and have fun and live a different life," Cutler said.