Chris Simms: Jon Gruden Did Not Want Brett Favre With The Bucs

August 24th, 2022

“Hey Simms, you are so full of sh!* claiming I won’t work with star quarterbacks! You ever hear of Bobby Hoying? You wish you were as good as him, f@^king daddy’s boy!”

Former Bucs quarterback Chris Simms has a love-hate relationship with Chucky.

Simms discusses Chucky from time to time while working for NBC Sports and regularly seen on Pro Football Talk via Peacock. And you can tell there is a little lingering bitterness with Chucky from their days together.

Simms always admits how smart Chucky is as a football mind, and then Simms will discuss Chucky where you can just tell Simms is holding himself back  not to unload on the guy.

So of course a big subject on Pro Football Talk this week is the return of Bahamas-frolicking Tom Brady.

Part of the Brady chatter was how over the weekend, Dana White of UFC fame spilled the beans that he served as a go-between (to help the Raiders avoid tampering?) and brokered a deal for Brady and foot-rubbing Rob Gronkowski to come to Las Vegas. But at the last second, White said, Chucky blew up the deal.

This didn’t surprise Simms.  He claimed Chucky may have Pearl Harbored a similar deal with the Bucs when it appeared Tampa Bay had a trade for Brett Favre all worked out.

So what happened? Simms claimed Chucky’s ego cannot handle bringing in a star quarterback.

Simms explained if a team coached by Chucky brings in the best quarterback in the league, an owner and the fanbase would never turn on the QB if things don’t work out. Instead, they would turn on the coach. And Chucky wanted nothing to do with getting painted into a corner by a star quarterback.

Simms insinuated winning was a priority for Chucky so long as he or his ego or his football reputation was not threatened.

“Oh, he didn’t want to deal with the pressure of Tom Brady,” Simms said. “He wasn’t going to have excuses to get out of that one, in case things didn’t work. He couldn’t blame Tom Brady if the offense didn’t work. He would lose control a little bit too because Brady was going to be able to talk to [Raiders owner] Mark Davis. ‘I want this.’ That’s where I find it fascinating.

“Even when I was in Tampa and there was the Brett Favre flirting and he ultimately went to the Jets, I always wondered if Gruden really wanted Brett Favre, either? I really did. The Glazer Family wants him but does Gruden really want him?”

This is just wild to Joe to think maybe Team Glazer was going to force Chucky to work with Farve. Imagine being forced to coach a Hall of Fame quarterback?

What sort of adds up here is that Team Glazer was constantly urging Chucky to draft a first-round quarterback and develop him. But Chucky resisted and only wanted to work with veterans. So if you believe Simms, Team Glazer called Chucky’s bluff and tried to get Favre.

Now the fly in the ointment here is Simms last played for the Bucs in 2006. The Brett Favre near-trade was in the summer of 2008. Simms was gone. So how did he know all of this backroom drama took place unless Chucky or someone else from the Bucs told him?

Of course, the Bucs were an aging team that year and ran out of steam and collapsed in December, losing their final four games. This included the season finale at home to JaMarcus Russell and the Raiders. A few weeks later, Team Glazer got tired of Chucky refusing their quarterback orders and canned him.

Look, Joe likes Chucky a lot. But one thing Joe has learned over the years is to never, ever underestimate egos in the NFL. And in the Brady case, and perhaps the Favre case, it was Chucky’s delicate ego that stood in the way of each team landing a Hall of Fame quarterback.

(Yes, Joe knows then-Packers general manager Ted Thompson claimed he wasn’t going to trade the Hero of Green Bay within the NFC.)

Joe enjoys revisiting Bucs history, painful though it may be at times.

46 Responses to “Chris Simms: Jon Gruden Did Not Want Brett Favre With The Bucs”

  1. RuKa44 Says:

    This makes whole sense to me… and also explains the firing of Chicky 1 year later. He refused to draft a QB on first round because “I only want to coach veteran QBs”. Glazers put on his lap one of the best veteran QBs and a future HOF and he also doesn’t want it… so… out the door you go.
    And, you know what? I can’t blame the Glazers for that decision…

  2. Joe in Michigan Says:

    The “star QB and Gruden blame game” premise makes some sense, trying to look into the mind of an egomaniac, but I think it had more to do with Green Bay getting an offer from an AFC team. The thing I remember most about Gruden was he had a 38 year old Tim Brown returning punts for the Bucs in 2004. What sane coach would do that?

  3. BucBoy Says:

    Chucky coached in Green Bay, 92-94.

  4. Kentucky Buc Says:

    It always amazes me that we have Simms and Orlovsky for most of the QB takes being put out there with all the great ex QBs still around. At least we get Curt Warner from time to time.

  5. WillieG Says:

    We have enough evidence to believe it is true. Think back to how he treated fan favorites while he was here. Mike Alstott became just a fullback. Keyshawn Johnson was run out of town. Joe Jurivicius was seldom used. It seemed like any offensive player who had a radio show was in Gruden’s doghouse. (His treatment of Mike Alstott is the reason I went from a Gruden lover to a Gruden hater.) I really think Gruden wants all the glory for himself. He’d curl up and die if a big name QB got the type of credit Brady gets for turning around the Bucs. He won with Brad Johnson and Rich Gannon, two QBs who’d played for a few teams each, and that’s the way Chucky wants it. All the glory to Chucky, none of the talk about how the QB turned around the franchise.

  6. Mr. Editor Says:

    Great article! I had totally blocked out losing to JaMarcus Russell from my memory. That was the cherry on top of a really bad year. Unfortunately, we’ll have to add his name to the list of ‘Buc-killer’ QBs, like Case Keenum, Derek Anderson, and Paxton Lynch, subpar passers who played like All World, All Pro, Hall of Famers against the Bucs.

    Chris Simms has already “unloaded” on Gruden, particularly in relation to how Chucky treated him during his recovery from losing his spleen.

    I don’t know if it’s on purpose, but I love it when the former Packers QB’s name is spelled “Farve” (paragraph just below the quote by Simms). As an editor, I would never correct this. I’m so glad he wasn’t signed by the Bucs because all of the articles about him stealing from the poor in Mississippi would mention that he was a former QB with the Packers and Bucs. We’ve already got enough problems.

  7. Hodad Says:

    Gruden was fun while he lasted. That first year was magic. Just goes to show B.A. put winning ahead of who gets the credit, and still does. That’s why he could turn a SB ready team over to Bowles. Gruden may have been a good coach, but he wasn’t a good person. Bruce Arians is both.

  8. Bird Says:

    Chucky the coach was great

    Chucky the GM and talent evaluator not so much

    “Are you out of your mind…are you out of your skull”

  9. BucBoy Says:

    “Gruden wasn’t a good person.”

    Why? Because he used language everyone else in the NFL uses? He got targeted because he’s a white boy. Make no mistake, the NFL has become a political organization and has a woke agenda.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I love Chucky….he won us a SB……but

    Look where his ego got him……his worst fear came true….blackballed from Football…..

    You should always….always want the best working for you….no matter what….

  11. Zwak Says:

    Gruden always had to be the biggest name on the team!

    Mark Alstott

  12. Buc50 Says:

    Just because you were a great QB does not mean you are a great commentator. Marino was horrible and he was a brilliant QB. I like Simms even though he has dumb takes sometimes.

  13. Jmarkbuc Says:

    I always thought that’s why Gruden let John Lynch go for nothing… Lynch was far more popular and important to fans than Gruden.

  14. Hodad Says:

    OK Gruden is a great person. Nothing wrong with any of the things he said. He’s being picked on by the woke mob. Got it. My brain has been washed.

  15. Mr. Editor Says:

    Great article!

  16. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Well Simms and Orlovsky suck as commentators. If Simms wasn’t Phil’s son he would’ve faded into obscurity long ago

  17. Gofortheface30 Says:

    “Keyshawn Johnson run out of town.” Lmao love how you baked that one in their “willieG”

    WillieG your boy Keyshawn is a poor example and a different scenario. Keyshawn is a whiny cuhnnt. No one on the team liked him. No one.

  18. #8 Says:

    Gruden also wants Suh back.

  19. Razor Ramone Says:

    I remember going to bed thinking Favre was gonna be our QB, and when I woke up he was Jet! UGH!!

  20. geno711 Says:

    Also, with the Raider’s Gruden traded Khalil Mack. Typically, you try to get deals done with top 5 defensive players in the league.

  21. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    This looks like Simms was just speculating. Don’t get me wrong though. I buy it.

  22. Your Mom Says:

    A lot would depend on what the Bucs were going to have to give up to get Favre. I’m not a big Gruden fan, but in his defense maybe he didn’t want to give up 4 first round picks or whatever the price would have been for the Bucs. It would have been steep, no doubt.

  23. SB~LV Says:


  24. tampabuscsbro Says:

    Man it’s almost like Chucky’s Fragile Ego messes up the situations with all of his teams he has ever been in charge of.

  25. D-Rome Says:

    I believe this.

  26. TombsEN Says:

    What exactly does “woke” mean BucBoy? I’m also confused on why you think the NFL is a political organization please explain in your own words if you can.

  27. Deano Says:

    Did suh sign with the raiders?

  28. Bucs Win Says:

    BucBoy is a my pillow stock holder.

  29. Garro Says:

    I can’t believe anybody is still paying any attention to what Chris Simms says… he clearly says alot of things that make no sense just so he can keep his pretty boy mug on the tube…that’s how bad the media has gotten folks

    BELIEVE it

  30. BucBoy Says:

    “TombsEN Says:
    What exactly does “woke” mean BucBoy? I’m also confused on why you think the NFL is a political organization please explain in your own words if you can.”

    Search engines are your friend, pal. Search “NFL woke” in an unbiased search engine such as DogPile[dot]Com or DuckDuckGo[dot]Com.

  31. Winny Testaverde Says:

    We can never take away the SB ride with Chucky…lightning in a bottle.

    His legacy hasn’t exactly aged well…actually feel sorry for the fella. I remember 2008 like yesterday…the lispy Jeff Garcia bemoaning “dead man walking” when it looked like Favre was on the way. Farve still had quite a bit left in the tank as it turns out. He was lights out in Minnesota. I too enjoy these “mini-docuseries” of history provided by Joe(s)!

  32. Lawrence Says:

    Hey buck boy politically woke means when $5 police officers are assassinated by a BLM supporter while they’re protecting a bill in protest and the Dallas Cowboys aren’t allowed to wear their names on their uniform but people can put black lives matter on the back of their helmet that means politically woke. When a black man in I’m in Collin kapernick can Neil and dis respect the flag on the national anthem but Tim tebow can’t kneel and thank God, that’s political. You got it Einstein?

  33. Brandon Says:

    Maybe he didn’t want him… Favre was basically a coached up on a better team version of Jameis Winston.

  34. geno711 Says:


    You are using the word bias incorrectly. For instance, you have an unfavorable view of using search engines Google and Bing to find material. You have a favorable about using DuckDuckGo and DogPile. You have a bias that favors using the later search engines.

    I have used DuckDuckGo and good for you using another search engine besides Bing or Google, etc. They do not track your private information so that is good.

    But DuckDuckGo does use algorithms just as much as any other search engine to help you land on subjects and articles. What they don’t have is a magical methodology to get you to only the correct or real news. Sorry.

    They also have a business model that makes them want to earn money. I take all these sites with a grain of salt because sometimes they will do things just in a capitalistic way (which I support) but that does not give you or I “the truth”.

  35. Gerald Cavallaro Says:

    I often wonder why Gruden/Bucs did not go after Drew Brees in 2006. Maybe this explains it.

  36. Big Red Says:

    I’m not a fan of Gruden. He ruined the Bucs and Monte Kiffin’s defense won him a superbowl. Definitely helped we played Gruden’s former team, was like an easy button. He ran Sapp out of town, he ran Lynch out of town (who offered to take payout to stay with Bucs and went to 2 probowls with the Brincos), and his GM-Scouting ability was hot garbage. Most overrated coach of our era, I laughed when the Raiders gave this guy a 10 yr deal.

    However, Gruden did the smart thing. He was signed to a 10 year deal and Carr is one of the top 10 QB’s in the league. You don’t discard your franchise QB for a rent-a-QB, even if it’s Brady.

    They wouldn’t have come close to snuffing a SB with the Raiders. Think AB would be been welcome back? like it or not, he certainly helped the Bucs get to the SB. I think we would’ve done it anyway, but AB helped.

  37. firethecannons Says:

    Interesting article Joe! I only started watching NFL in 2015 when Jameis Winston was drafted, as an FSU alum I wanted to keep tabs on JW the dynamic quarterback that won us the championship We all know what has happened–Winston is a bust like so many others. Thanks for these Bucs history lessons–love it!

  38. Buczilla Says:

    I can totally believe this story from Simms. Man, what could have been. Whole lotta those in our teams history. What if we had drafted Aaron Rodgers in 2005 instead of the Pinto as just one other example?

    I’m glad that Gruden was fired when he was because he just couldn’t hack it as the de facto gm, but the glazers and the nfl did him wrong for saying mean things. He’s an idiot for putting those mean things in an email and sending them to an nfl employee, but his ex players vouch for his character, so good enough for me. Easily the second best coach in our history and I hope that he rakes the glazers and the nfl over the coals in his lawsuit. The ring of honor will be forever tainted until Grudens name is back on it.

  39. Rod Munch Says:

    “Simms claimed Chucky’s ego cannot handle bringing in a star quarterback.”

    I have literally been saying this since 2003, when he had to get rid of Rich McKay, Keyshawn, then after the season he had to get rid of Lynch of Sapp. Gruden is all about Gruden, nothing else, he wants the spotlight on him, and if you get in the way, you’re out. It’s the reason the very low profile Brooks and Barber were allowed to stick around, so long as they didn’t steal attention from Gruden, they were OK.

    Meanwhile AB had to go in Oakland, a dullard like Carr is kept over going after Brady, it’s the same thing every time with Gruden.

    BUT to hear someone who was in the building say the same thing, that is very gratifying.

  40. Rod Munch Says:

    Buczilla – What was ‘mean’ about what Gruden said? He was making jokes. I know we’re on the same side, but I’m not even going to give up the idea that he was being ‘mean’ – he was being funny, and words don’t hurt.

    As for Rodgers, Gruden is the one that didn’t take him, Bruce Allen was Gruden’s hand picked stooge, and did what Gruden told him.

    As for Favre, it’s the same thing. The Glazers try to swing a deal to get Favre, and I’m certain behind the scenes Gruden was leaking info to anyone that would listen, saying ‘xxx is all you have to offer to beat our deal’, and the Jets did so. Afterwards, its the same sob story as with Rodgers, that Gruden really wanted him, but the dummies in the front office messed it up. Well after Gruden went crying to the Glazers and demanded that Rich McKay was fired (for not signing an old washed up Andre Rison who couldn’t break a 5.0 40), Gruden WAS the Bucs front office, and he single handedly tore apart what should have been a dynasty.

    The guy is absolutely not the 3rd best coach in team history. It’s Dungy, Arians, McKay, and then, maybe, Gruden, I guess. But being handed a SB winning team and just not screwing it up for a year doesn’t make you a great coach.

  41. Buczilla Says:

    @Rod Munch

    Dungy gets extra credit for pulling our butts out of perpetual losing seasons and instilling a fantastic culture, but his refusal to bring our offense out of the stone age knocks him down a couple of pegs for me. I love Dungy as a man and as a coach since he was humble enough to grow and realize that his offensive phlosophy wasn’t ever going to cut it. He’s a good dude and I wish that he were much more involved in setting policy for the nfl.

    I think that Arians is head and shoulders above both Dungy and Gruden. He not only brought us out of a horrible tailspin like Dungy did, but he also won a super bowl to boot. He’s also exactly the kind of person that I would gravitate towards at a party. Fun and full of life even at his older age.

    Gruden benefitted from Dungy and Kiffin’s defense no doubt, but he also installed a super bowl caliber offensive scheme and picked up some new players to make it hum. He did all of this in just one year which is impressive as all hell. Think about that. The players loved Dungy, but most of them embraced Gruden quickly and would have run through walls for him. He was pretty much a$$ after that, but winnng a superbowl is what it’s all about. It’s splitting hairs for me, but I give Gruden the slight edge over Dungy.

  42. Eric Says:

    They didn’t run out of steam that year, the defense was pissed the Monty announced he was letting to go coach with his son and the defense played like sh** those last four games.

  43. David Says:

    I loved Chucky when he was here… At first. Win a Super Bowl. Very grateful for that.
    Over time, however, it has become glaringly obvious that he is extremely overrated. He can’t develop a young quarterback as we all know, he has no tolerance for an average quarterback, and apparently can’t handle a superstar quarterback. 😂 So where the hell does that leave you?

    And let’s not forget that this so-called offensive genius could not figure out how to get two star receivers on the field at the same time

  44. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Warren Sapp said it best I may be wrong, that Gruden was a used car salesman. When they let Kiffin leave before the end of that final season the defense got rid of Gruden by quitting on the whole fan base by purposely getting killed those last 4 games.

    BUCboy showed what he really is, a boy mentality. Whining with that woke crap. Please this ain’t your grand pappy’s America anymore son you’re just upset you don’t have the privileges your grand pappy enjoyed. Keep your political agenda off a football board.

  45. Eddie Marz Says:

    You who else The Bucs don’t want? Chris Simms! What a wannabe! Couldn’t make it in football because of his arm, now wants to let his mouth do the playing. Beat it, chris. GOBUCS!

  46. Michael Says:

    None of this is true, believe me I know. Bruce Allen told Gruden to go to bed, Farve would be a Buc tomorrow. Last minute we were outbid because they had to sell seat licensing for the other team.