Aug. 10, 2004
SportsLine.com wire reports

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Tim Brown signed Tuesday with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a move that reunites the former Oakland receiver with ex-Raiders coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen.

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The 38-year-old, nine-time Pro Bowl receiver will be counted on to bolster a receiving corps that is in desperate need of experienced help because of injuries and Keenan McCardell's holdout.

Brown was released last week after 16 seasons with the Raiders, who told one of the most popular players in team history that he was no better than the fourth or fifth best receiver in a group that included starters Jerry Rice and Jerry Porter.

With Tampa Bay, Brown could wind up being a starter with McCardell demanding a raise after a Pro Bowl season and Joe Jurevicius out indefinitely after undergoing back surgery earlier this month.

The Bucs also think rookie receiver Michael Clayton, the team's first-round draft pick, can benefit from being around the 17th-year pro.


Tim Brown played four years for Bucs coach Jon Gruden.(Getty Images)
Brown played a franchise-record 240 games for Oakland, and his streak of 173 consecutive games with at least one reception is the second-longest in NFL history behind Rice's 273.

"It's amazing to see how this league works," Rice said from Raiders camp in Napa, Calif. "You never know where you're going to be or where you're going to end up."

He's second of the all-time list with 14,734 yards receiving, third in receptions with 1,070, tied for fourth with Hall of Famer Don Huston with 99 touchdowns and fifth with 19,434 all-purpose yards.

The 1987 Heisman Trophy winner played for Gruden from 1998-2001, the last four years in a stretch of nine consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 yards receiving. Two years ago, he helped lead the Raiders to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the Gruden-led Bucs.

Last season, Brown had 52 catches for 567 yards and two TDs.

Brown could get a chance to face his former team early in the year as the Bucs travel to Oakland on Sept. 26 for a Sunday night game.

"The hype is already there," Rice said. "The second I heard he might sign with Tampa, I went, 'Oh my God. Here we go."'



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