Tampa, Fla. Keenan McCardell wanted out of Tampa Bay, and the Buccaneers obliged Tuesday by trading the NFL's last holdout to the San Diego Chargers for two picks in next year's draft.
"Keenan obviously made a decision a long time ago that he was not going to be happy with the economics of his contract," Bucs general manager Bruce Allen said.
"I don't think we need that coming back to the locker room, whenever he was going to come back. I've heard different dates. I don't think we'll ever know the answer to that."
McCardell stayed away from training camp and vowed to sit out the entire season if the Bucs did not give him a substantial raise over the $2.5 million he was scheduled to earn under a contract that also would have paid him $2.75 million in 2005.
The 34-year-old McCardell accumulated $185,000 in fines during training camp and lost $882,360 in salary for missing the first six games of the regular season. In all, his holdout lasted 82 days.
Tampa Bay has filed a grievance seeking half of the $2 million signing bonus McCardell received when he signed a four-year, $10 million contract as a free agent two years ago.
"Keenan made a business decision and it could cost him a lot of money," Allen said.
The deal with the Chargers, who gave up third- and sixth-round draft picks in 2005, came just over a week after McCardell flew to Tampa from his home in Houston to meet with coach Jon Gruden in a bid to end the stalemate.