The Price-Barron AltercationJune 18th, 2012
About 10 days ago Joe was told of Brian Price connecting with at least one punch to the head of Mark Barron after Barron verbally snapped at Price during a players meeting, shortly after Price returned to the Buccaneers following the accidental death of his sister.
Joe sniffed around about the story and was able to confirm that the core elements of what Joe was told about the altercation are accurate: Barron was seated in a seat that apparently was Price’s, Price says something like, “get up,” Barron says something along the lines of “F-you,” and Price proceeds to punch him in the head and Barron wasn’t seriously injured.
Frankly, Joe didn’t find the incident all that crazy and, since Joe didn’t have quotable sources or see what happened, Joe didn’t run with the story.
It seems clear that Barron is rather Warren Sapp–like with his rookie attitude and has an alpha-dog style among all his teammates, and he just caught Price on a horribly bad day. Given how early this was in the offseason, it’s even likely that Price didn’t know who Barron was and vice versa. It’s not like these guys are wearing game jerseys in meetings.
Joe brings this up now because former Bucs beat writer Charlie Campbell, now of WalterFootball.com, has penned a long story citing anonymous sources on the Price-Barron altercation. Frankly, Joe thinks Campbell went a little over the top with the alleged significance of what happened.
Across the NFL, there are veterans putting rookies in their place in locker rooms and on practice fields. No, Joe doesn’t condone teammates belting each other, but given Price’s personal situation at the time, Joe finds this all to be simply a heat-of-the-moment thing that got overheated because Price was grieving.
Price was given an excused absence for the Bucs’ mandatory minicamp last week, and all indications are that he’s simply out in California to be near his family — he’s reportedly adopting his late sister’s children — and train and get his head right out there before reporting for training camp.
Price’s long road back from a horrific injury has earned him the respect of fans, teammates and the Bucs organization. Joe doesn’t believe there’s some read-between-the-lines reason behind Price missing minicamp.