Reports: Simms says relationship with Gruden 'totally broken'

Chris Simms says his relationship with Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden is irreparably broken and is seeking a trade or his outright release, the St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune reported.

Simms, who suffered a ruptured spleen during a game in 2006 and spent most of 2007 on the injured reserve list, is sitting out the team's workouts this week and not sure he will attend next week's minicamp.

"It is totally broken," Simms said of his relationship with Gruden, the Tribune reported. "And it kills me to say that, because the Bucs have been great to me; the fans have been great to me … But the relationship between me and coach Gruden -- it's broken. It just is. And I don't see any way it's going to get better again."

According to the report, Simms has asked the Bucs for a trade or his outright release. He said the reason the team gave him for not doing so has been "muddled."

"I feel like I'm being held hostage," Simms said, according to the Times. "I hate that all this has happened. I love Tampa. My family loves it here. But I've been quiet long enough. I feel like it's time to let everybody know why I'm not out there."

Simms said his relationship with Gruden began deteriorating last year during training camp. He alleged Gruden never acknowledged the seriousness of the injury, asked him if it was all in his mind, and put him into a preseason game when he had been given few practice reps.

"I was nowhere near ready to go [for the preseason game]," Simms said, according to the Tribune. "I don't know what the reason was for having me out there. And for coach to say during camp that I was healthy and just wasn't practicing well, that was a low blow.

"I mean, he never once sat down at any point with me and asked me what I was going through, how I felt, even as a person. That said a lot to me. That's why I feel like I can never play for him again."

The team declined to comment on Simms' situation, the Tribune reported.

"I do believe that [Gruden] thought I might be faking it," Simms said, according to the Tribune. "I mean, he asked me, 'Is it in your head?' For him to say that, that's just not right. There are just a lot of things that I can never forgive him for."

According to the Tribune, Simms said if he has not been dealt or released by training camp, he will attend -- but he won't be a happy camper.

"I'll be there," Simms said, according to the Tribune. "If they want that media circus, they'll have it. But they have to know that I won't be happy, I won't ever be happy here again. Ever."

In another quarterback-related development, the Times reported that the Bucs had reached a $3.5 million contract settlement with Jake Plummer, who has never played a down for the team.

The Bucs dealt for Plummer in March 2007, a day after he had faxed a letter to the NFL stating his intention to retire. However, Plummer had two years left on the contract he had signed with the Broncos at the time he was traded, and the Bucs were seeking about $7 million in signing bonus money from him, alleging he had failed to meet his obligation in the deal.

The Denver Post first reported that the Bucs and Plummer were near a settlement.