Two years ago, defensive lineman Richard Seymour took his sweet time reporting for work with the Raiders after being traded there by the Patriots. Now, another defensive lineman has yet to appear in his new place of employment after a trade.
Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Broderick Bunkley, a first-round draft pick of the Eagles in 2006, has not shown up in Cleveland after being traded to the Browns on Saturday for a fifth-round draft pick.
Per McLane, “[N]o one knows if [Bunkley] ever will.”
The procedure that would apply depends on whether the trade hinged (as trades normally do) on the player passing a physical in his new city. Since the player has to report before he can pass a physical, the trade isn’t over until the player shows up.
If there is such a condition, the Eagles and Browns could re-work the deal, like the Broncos and Bucs did several years ago after Jake Plummer was traded to Tampa and never showed up. (The Bucs later obtained a partial reimbursement of signing bonus money the Bucs never paid.)
Whether the rights are held by the Eagles or the Browns, the only way to squeeze the player is to send a so-called “five-day letter.”
“The club sends a letter to the player warning him that, in five days, the club has the right to place him on the reserve/left squad list,” NFL spokesman Michael Signora told PFT during the Seymour episode. “It explains to him that if they do place him in that category, he cannot play again this season, etc. After sending that letter and the expiration of the five-day period, the club does not have to place the player on the reserve/left squad list, but it may do so.”
The devil will be lurking in the details on this one. There’s a chance that the Browns gave up a fifth-rounder for nothing, and there’s a chance that the Browns ultimately will give up nothing, with Bunkley’s rights reverting to the Eagles.
Either way, Seymour ended up showing up in Oakland. And now he’s happy there. So maybe Bunkley should give the Browns a chance. It’s not as if he has many other options, if he wants to play football for money.