Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said Friday the trade of beleaguered defensive tackle Brian Price and release of wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe were moves the team had been "planning'' for at least a couple weeks and that neither player should have been surprised by the move.
The Bucs traded Price, a second-round pick in 2010 whose career path has been littered with physical and emotional downturns, to the Chicago Bears on Thursday for a late-round 2013 draft pick and released Briscoe when a trade partner could not be found.
"It just didn't work out with Brian,'' Dominik said.
Price suffered an injury Thursday while running coach Greg Schiano's conditioning test and failed to finish, but Dominik did not say whether that had a bearing on the decision to trade him.
"He's had an unfortunate career and an unfortunate personal life, a really tragic personal life. So it's very difficult to think about all the things he's gone through, from losing his sister, to the injuries he's dealt with and the surgeries he's dealt with," Dominik said.
"But at some point we have to go out there and win some football games, and part of the plan for us was to be involved in free agency this offseason and go out and find guys like Amobi Okoye and Wallace Gilberry, who can help out, so his was a position that we have focused on, knowing this day could come.''
The Bucs possibly have not seen the last of Price. He was traded to the Bears on the condition he passes Chicago's physical and would come back to the Bucs if he did not, Dominik said.
"But (the Bears) know Brian is not in the condition he probably wants to be in," Dominik said. "I talked to Phil Emery, the Bears' general manager, and we talked about Brian and where he's at. So we'll see."
Price's career has been slowed for two years by a pelvic problem that required radical surgery. After he was placed on injured reserve midway through his rookie season, he twice underwent surgical procedures designed to reattach hamstrings to his fractured pelvis.
The surgeries also included procedures aimed at fusing Price's pelvis in a way that his hamstrings would no longer rip it apart, but the procedures greatly limited Price's effectiveness.
Price, who could not be reached for comment following the trade, told The Tampa Tribune at one point last season that he never felt any better than "60 percent'' because of the ongoing problems.
Those problems carried over into the offseason, which took a tragic turn when Price's 30-year-old sister Bridget was killed in a car crash in Los Angeles in early May.
Price tried to work through the loss, but less than two weeks after the crash he collapsed from what his agent said was physical and mental exhaustion shortly before a workout at One Buc Place.
Price spent four days in a Tampa hospital following the breakdown, but even after his release he still was not in the right physical state or frame of mind to focus on football, and that quickly became apparent.
Shortly after returning to the team, Price got into a fight with rookie teammate Mark Barron, which prompted the Bucs to give Price permission to spend the rest of his offseason working out on his own near his Los Angeles home.
Those workouts appeared to prove beneficial to Price, whose agent said he would report to the Bucs at less than 300 pounds and had regained much of the physical ability that made him a prized prospect.
Price came to camp Thursday as the projected starter at nose tackle, but with his departure the Bucs are likely to turn that job over to Okoye, a 2007 first-round pick (10th overall) of the Houston Texans.
Okoye came to the Bucs as a free agent in April, when he signed a one-year $1.3 million deal. He had a surgical scope done to clean debris out of his knee in the offseason but is ready for the start of camp workouts today, Schiano said.