Fifteen months ago, Buccaneers General Manager Mark Dominik used a second-round draft pick, No. 35 overall, on defensive tackle Brian Price. Yesterday Dominik traded Price to the Bears for a seventh-round pick that will end up being somewhere around No. 235 overall. That obviously makes Price a disappointing draft pick.
But Dominik says that at the time the Bucs drafted Price, a former Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year at UCLA, they had every reason to believe they were making a good pick.
“I don’t think anyone in the NFL didn’t think Brian Price wasn’t a second-round talent,” Dominik told PewterReport.com. “When we drafted [Price] there wasn’t anyone saying, ‘Geez he was a fourth-round [talent].’ It just hasn’t worked out. And it is disappointing to us as an organization and I know Brian Price is disappointed it worked out the way it did.”
Price was one of the several Buccaneers who failed new coach Greg Schiano’s conditioning test, and although Dominik wouldn’t confirm that there was a connection between failing the test and getting traded, that may have been a final straw for Price, who was already in hot water with the team after a fight with rookie safety Mark Barron.
“What’s important is that all of our team knew a conditioning test was important,” Dominik said. “And not just the conditioning test, but what’s to be expected coming out of training camp and what we want out of our players. Coach Schiano made that clear to the players, and yesterday is a part of the entire process of what we have dealt with, with each individual player. And yesterday we sat down, after everything, and I decided to make the deal to send Brian Price to the Chicago Bears. That’s what seemed to be in the best interest of this football team moving forward.”
If Price gets himself into better shape, he could end up being a great addition for the Bears. And maybe even end up proving Dominik right in his assessment that he’s a second-round talent.