The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost yet another player to free agency on Friday when wide receiver Joe Jurevicius signed a one-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks.
Financial terms weren’t immediately available.
Jurevicius, 30, has hauled in 178 career passes for 2,316 yards and 13 touchdowns while playing in 88 career games (22 starts) with the New York Giants (1998-2001) and Tampa Bay (2002-2004).
In 30 regular season games (eight starts) with the Bucs, Jurevicius hauled in 76 passes for 874 yards and eight touchdowns. But a serious knee and back injury plagued Jurevicius over the past two seasons, allowing him to play in just 15 games, where he caught 39 passes for 451 yards and four touchdowns.
Last season, Jurevicius returned from both injuries, playing in 10 regular season games and catching 27 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns.
Jurevicius played a integral role in helping Tampa Bay during its post-season run in 2002 en route to a 48-21 win over the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII. In three post-season games, he caught eight passes for 197 yards, including a 71-yard catch that helped turned momentum and get Tampa Bay in the end zone against the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game.
The cap-strapped Buccaneers released Jurevicius and three other players on Mar. 1 in order to come into compliance with the NFL-mandated $85.5 million salary cap. The Bucs offered Jurevicius a contract, and although he and his agent, Neil Cornrich, expressed a serious interest in re-signing with Tampa Bay, he ultimately decided to sign with Seattle.
Jurevicius is the seventh player to leave the Bucs since the free-agent signing period began on Mar. 2. Guards Matt O’Dwyer (Green Bay) and Cosey Coleman (Cleveland), defensive tackle Chartric Darby (Seattle), safety Dwight Smith (New Orleans) and quarterback Brad Johnson (Minnesota) have all signed with new teams. All six players were starters for all or at least some part of last season.
Also signing with a new team Friday was linebacker and special teams ace Keith Burns, who re-joined the Denver Broncos by inking a contract.
Tampa Bay currently has 11 wide receivers under contract for the 2005 season, including Michael Clayton and Joe Galloway, who re-signed with the team a few weeks ago. The Bucs are also believed to be targeting a receiver, possibly Michigan’s Braylon Edwards or USC’s Mike Williams, with their first-round (fifth overall) pick in the draft.
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