Denver Jake Plummer poured a glass of water, took a giant gulp and then talked for almost five minutes about how he was officially retiring from the NFL before stepping away from the podium without answering any questions.
The Denver Broncos quarterback was in a hurry Friday. He had a handball tournament he needed to attend.
"I wanted to come in and tell you guys on camera and face-to-face that the speculation can stop tonight," Plummer said from the Denver Athletic Club. "You can know by the looking in my face and hearing my words that I am retiring from the NFL. At 32 years old, I'm running away from the game. Not in fear or fright, but health-wise. I'm healthy. I'm happy. I have a lot to look forward to in my life."
The Broncos traded Plummer to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on March 3 for a conditional pick in the 2008 draft. The Bucs made the deal despite being aware of Plummer's retirement plans. He said on the Web site of The Jake Plummer Foundation last Saturday that he was retiring.
Yet there was still doubt whether he'd follow through with retirement. Plummer doused the speculation.
"You don't have to chase me around anymore," he said. "There will not be a jersey that has an NFL patch right here (pointing to his chest). If (Broncos third-string quarterback) Preston Parsons gets in somehow, maybe I'll have his jersey on."
Plummer has three years left on his contract and was due $5.3 million in 2007. He led Denver to the AFC championship game two seasons ago, but lost his starting job after 11 games last season to rookie Jay Cutler. Plummer was 40-18 as Denver's starter, including a 1-3 mark in the playoffs.
Giants deal for Droughns
Cleveland - Reuben Droughns, Cleveland's only 1,000-yard rusher since 1985, was traded Friday to the New York Giants, who need a feature running back following Tiki Barber's retirement. In return for Droughns, who became expendable after the Browns signed free-agent Jamal Lewis to a one-year, $3.5 million contract on Wednesday, the Giants sent Cleveland wide receiver Tim Carter.
In his first season with Cleveland in 2005, Droughns rushed for 1,232 yards, becoming the first Browns back to eclipse 1,000 yards since Kevin Mack and Earnest Byner did it.
Rhodes, Raiders agree
Oakland, Calif. - Running back Dominic Rhodes is going from the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts to the team that posted the worst record in the NFL last season, after agreeing Friday to a two-year contract with the Oakland Raiders that could be worth up to $7.5 million.
Rhodes likely will split time in Oakland with LaMont Jordan, who is staying with the team after agreeing earlier in the week to reduce his roster bonus from $4.75 million to $3 million. Jordan rushed for only 434 yards and two touchdowns before going down with a season-ending knee injury Nov. 19.