The Buccaneers have been busy in free agency addressing their offensive line and defense, but had done little to improve their team speed at the offensive skill positions – until now. The Buccaneers have reached an agreement with former Lakewood High and University of Florida wide receiver Louis Murphy it was announced on Wednesday.
Murphy’s NFL stats won’t overwhelm many, but the former Gator wide receiver possesses something that has been lacking since the days of Joey Galloway, and that is the ability to stretch the field and get behind safeties.
Murphy’s 4.4-speed should be an asset in Tampa Bay and most likely gives him the upper hand in the battle for the No. 3 receiver on the team. Current starters Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams both possess their own talents, but taking a five-yard slant or outrunning coverage aren’t strengths for either receiver. In Murphy’s career the St. Pete Fla. native has receptions of 75 and 70 yards.
The 6-2, 200-pound wide receiver was a fourth-round draft pick by the Oakland Raiders in 2009 and posted a solid rookie season catching 34 passes for 541 yards and four touchdowns. He has played five seasons with the Raiders, Carolina Panthers and New York Giants, making 24 starts and catching 121 passes for 1,744 yards and eight touchdowns. Murphy, who starred at Lakewood High School, spent his collegiate career at the University of Florida and was a member of two BCS National Championship teams in Gainesville.
Earlier this month Tampa Bay re-signed WR/KR Eric Page and also have Chris Owusu, Skye Dawson, Russell Shepard and Tommy Streeter on the roster at wide receiver. Last season’s No. 3 receiver, Tiquan Underwood signed with the Panthers last week.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
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