The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held a 4:15 p.m. press conference on Tuesday to announce the signing of former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown.
Brown, 38, is reunited with Bucs head coach Jon Gruden, general manager Bruce Allen, running back Charlie Garner and guard Matt Stinchcomb, all of whom worked with Brown in Oakland.
"I have great respect for Tim," Gruden said after Tuesday morning's practice. "He practiced every day for four years. He was a unanimous team captain and a multiple Pro Bowl player. He's a great player. If he still has the burning drive to make himself great than he could help anybody."
Brown worked under Gruden from 1998-01, catching 338 passes for 4,649 yards and 35 touchdowns. Brown's best season came in '01, which was Gruden's last year with the Raiders, when the receiver hauled in a career-high 104 passes for 1,408 yards (13.5 avg.) and five touchdowns.
A 1988 first-round draft pick out of Notre Dame, Brown has started 198 of the 240 games he's played in. He has missed just one start since the 1993 season.
Brown, a nine-time Pro Bowler, asked the Raiders to release him last week after he was informed that his playing time in Oakland head coach Norv Turner's offense would be limited this season.
The addition of Brown makes Bucs WR Keenan McCardell's holdout even more intriguing. McCardell, who caught a team-leading 84 receptions for 1,174 yards and scored a career-high nine touchdowns last season, wants to be paid like the team's No. 1 receiver, or at least more than WR Joey Galloway, who is scheduled to make about the same amount as McCardell this season.
However, the Bucs aren't willing to give him a penny more than the $2.5 million he's scheduled to make this season, citing the fact that McCardell is one of the highest-paid 34-year-old receivers in the NFL and has two years remaining on the contract he signed with the Bucs in 2002.
Although he hasn't had a 1,000-yard season in two years, Brown's career totals are among the league's best. He's caught 1,070 career passes for 14,734 yards (13.8 avg.) and 99 receiving touchdowns.
Last season, Brown caught 52 passes for 567 yards (10.9 avg.) and two touchdowns. That was his lowest reception total since the 1992 season when he caught just 49 passes.
In order to make room on their roster for Brown, the Bucs waived WR James Williams, who was signed last week after WR James Skaggs was released.
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