A little more than two years after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers invested the 35th overall pick of the 2010 draft on UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price, he is gone.
The Bucs dumped Price on Thursday, trading him to the Chicago Bears for a seventh-round draft pick in 2013. It was real simple. New coach Greg Schiano didn’t want Price around and the Bucs didn’t want to risk an injury for him in training camp that could put them on the hook for his contract this season.
Tampa had been looking to trade Price for some time and an executive with another club said the Bucs were looking for a mid-round draft pick. No one warmed to that idea, so the Bucs took what they could get and moved on.
Price had failed a conditioning test and he will have to pass a physical with the Bears to make the deal official. He’s been through a tremendous amount of personal struggles off the field.
Was the conditioning test the final thing?
“It’s hard to say that,” Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said, according to PewterReport.com. “He’s had an unfortunate career and an unfortunate personal life. A really tragic personal life. So it’s very difficult to think about all the things he’s gone through, from losing his sister, to the injuries he’s dealt with and the surgeries he’s dealt with. But at some point we have to go out there and win some football games, and part of the plan for us was to be involved in free agency and find guys like Amobi Okoye and Wallace Gilberry who can help out, so it’s a position that we have focused on, knowing this day could come.”
Price has had serious hamstring issues and Dominik defended the pick.
“You don’t go into it and want that to happen obviously as an organization,” Dominik said. “I don’t think anyone in the NFL didn’t think Brian Price wasn’t a second-round talent. When we drafted he there wasn’t anyone saying, ‘Geez he was a fourth-round (talent).’ It just hasn’t worked out. And it is disappointing to us as an organization and I know Brian Price is disappointed it worked out the way it did. But at the same point we have to move and do what we feel as an organization – and me specifically – that are in the best interest of this football team.
“I have a lot of respect for Brian. He has been through a lot of personal drama, and he got a lot of physical drama he has been though too. He got to get everything put together. But we will let the Bears … I’ll will watch from afar, but at the same point I am looking forward to seeing the guys who are here who can practice everyday and play everyday and contribute to this football team.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune