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  • McCardell ready to sit out season

    Veteran will play when Bucs agree to pay him like one of the league's top receivers
    By ROGER MILLS, Times Staff Writer
    Published June 24, 2004

    TAMPA - The agent for receiver Keenan McCardell said Wednesday there appears to be a stalemate in resolving the contract dispute that is keeping the Bucs' leading receiver from minicamp.

    Responding to statements made by general manager Bruce Allen on Tuesday, Gary Uberstine said the 12-year veteran is prepared to not only miss training camp but part, if not all, of the season."There is and will be no resolution in sight until some point during the regular season, at which point everyone loses," Uberstine said. Uberstine said McCardell is resolved to stay away until the Bucs make him a better offer. "If it's gone six months with no progress, there's no reason to think that the next six months are going to be any different or better," Uberstine said. "I'm certainly hopeful and optimistic that something can bridge the difference between now and then, but I have no reason to believe that."

    McCardell, due to make $2.5-million this season and $2.75-million in his final year, has asked for a deal close to the average of the top receivers in the league. Those who are not in their rookie contracts average $4.4-million.

    Uberstine was particularly concerned about Allen's comments that the dispute was based on money.

    "Most things in life and business contain some financial component, and that doesn't make them dishonest, selfish or unreasonable," Uberstine said. "I'm certain if the team had its way it would pay players as little as possible." Uberstine said McCardell is in elite company with 410 catches and 5,052 yards the past five seasons. Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Marvin Harrison, Torry Holt, Rod Smith and Jimmy Smith are the only other receivers to accomplish that feat.

    The Bucs said they have no plans to negotiate a new deal and pointed out that McCardell is under contract for two more years.

    "Contracts in the NFL have essentially become one-year deals," said Uberstine, pointing out players are forced to take a pay cut for poor performance or injury. "Teams cannot adhere fairly to such a practice yet not recognize the converse."

    Last season, McCardell led the Bucs with 84 receptions, 1,180 yards and eight receiving touchdowns. He has 724 career receptions and five 1,000-yard seasons.

    The Bucs appear less than willing to engage in a long-term deal with McCardell, 34. Allen commented Tuesday that he has a good idea of what the market value is for older receivers such as the Raiders' Tim Brown.

    "The reference to Tim Brown is interesting," Uberstine said. "Because Bruce and the Raiders signed Tim Brown to a contract where he received $8.5-million over two years to play at 34 and 35 years old, during which time his statistics were virtually identical to Keenan's production last year."

  • #2
    Re: McCardell ready to sit out season

    Why is it always receivers that think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Keenan, you signed a contract. You put your name on the line, figuratively & literally. Now be a man and play for the amount you signed for.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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    • Nick
      McCardell to skip camp in protest
      by Nick
      Bucs Pro Bowler says he wants to be paid like the average No. 1 receiver.
      By ROGER MILLS, Times Staff Writer
      Published June 22, 2004

      TAMPA - He doesn't want to shatter the Bucs' salary cap. He isn't asking to be compensated like Terrell Owens, Marvin Harrison or Randy Moss.

      What Bucs receiver Keenan McCardell wants is to be paid close to the average of the league's No. 1 receivers.

      Now, he's about to make his point.

      After missing all 14 of the "voluntary" offseason team practices, McCardell said Monday he will not take part in the mandatory three-day minicamp that starts today. He said he will stay in Houston until the Bucs make him an offer he can't refuse.

      "I just want to be treated fairly," McCardell said from his Houston home. "When I signed (with the Bucs) it was to complement Keyshawn (Johnson), and even prior to his departure I was performing as a top receiver. And I'm still performing as a top receiver. I'm not trying to break the bank. It's fair for any employee in any line of work to get a raise when he gets a promotion or increased responsibility. ... That's fair."

      The veteran receiver, who has been silent about his contract situation since the end of the 2003 season, said he is making a stand based on his production and his work ethic.

      "I really think I'm a hard-working employee," he said. "I started from the bottom and worked my way to the top. I have never caused a problem in the locker room. I've been a consummate team player. I'm not trying to cash in on last year's season, I'm fighting for what's fair. I think the public would agree I was a Pro Bowl receiver and I deserve to be paid at least the average of the No. 1 receivers."

      McCardell, 34, has two years left on a four-year contract. He is due to earn $2.5-million this season and $2.75-million in his final year.

      McCardell's absence at this week's minicamp could cost him up to $1,000, the maximum fine allowed by the league's collective bargaining agreement. He could be fined $5,000 a day for any missed time at training camp, according to the CBA.

      "I understand that situation, I've been in the league long enough," said McCardell, entering his 13th season. "I'm fighting over a principle. What is fair and just, and sometimes you have to take some risks. Stand up for what you believe. ... I understand that there are negatives, including fines and other economic sanctions that go along with my situation, but I have to do what I know is in my heart."

      In keeping with team policy, Bucs general manager Bruce Allen does not comment on contract negotiations. McCardell's Las Vegas agent, Gary Uberstine, also wouldn't comment.

      Negotiations between Allen and Uberstine are ongoing with the hope of a resolution before July 30, when the...
      -06-22-2004, 07:44 AM
    • Curly Horns
      Keenan does have a point, but he's wrong
      by Curly Horns
      By DEREK REDD, [email protected]
      June 30, 2004

      In holding out this preseason, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Keenan McCardell is not making the wisest decision.

      But why he's making it is understandable.

      McCardell was a 12-year veteran brought in as option No. 2 behind Keyshawn Johnson. He was then thrust into the No. 1 spot after Keyshawn's relationship with the Bucs melted down. He was one of the few bright spots on an otherwise disappointing 7-9 Bucs team. He caught 84 balls for 1,174 yards fifth in the NFC and eight touchdowns.

      He earned $2 million in 2003.

      Muhsin Muhammad got $3.9 million to catch 54 passes for 837 yards and three scores. Marty Booker got $2.5 million to catch 52 passes for 715 yards and four scores.

      McCardell will earn a 2004 base salary of $2 million this season, plus a $500,000 roster bonus. That's still less than the $4.4 million Muhammad will make or the $2.7 million Booker will make.

      So if he's the team's No. 1 receiver and produces No. 1 receiver numbers, he'd like to get paid like a No. 1 receiver. He's not in the $5 million-plus club like Marvin Harrison or Randy Moss, but the Bucs should put a little more space between his salary and, say, Peter Warrick's ($2.06 million).

      The popular refrain among print and radio pundits is that McCardell should shut his trap, report to camp and whatever happens, happens. Once he finishes the last two years of his contract, then he and the team can talk.

      Not really.

      McCardell is 34 years old. The pundits also point out that 34-year-old wideouts don't make big-time money. Well, unless you're Jerry Rice, 36-year-olds don't make that money, either.

      They get cut for being over the hill.

      He can't really play himself into a better contract. By the time his current one expires, the Bucs can balk at a bigger paycheck, with his age as their excuse. Now is the only time he can make more money, and if holding out is his sole weapon, then he's using it.

      But he's using it against the wrong team at the wrong time.

      This Bucs regime doesn't budge. It paid Keyshawn to sit on his can at home for the second half of 2003. It jettisoned John Lynch and Warren Sapp without so much as a goodbye. When Jon Gruden says he's willing to move forward without McCardell, you should take him at his word.

      The rest of the receiving corps didn't help McCardell's chances at last week's mini-camp. Joey Galloway looked good, as did rookie Michael Clayton. And if Joe Jurevicius fully recovers from injury, the Bucs have three exceptional receivers and McCardell's name isn't among them.

      So McCardell will fight for more money, money he probably deserves, the only way he knows how. He and the Bucs will stare each other down to see who flinches first.

      I can't say I agree with...
      -07-01-2004, 12:01 AM
    • DJRamFan
      [Bucs] McCardell Visits With Gruden
      by DJRamFan
      TAMPA - Bucs wide receiver Keenan McCardell made several strides Monday in an effort to resolve his contract holdout. When his journey was over, though, McCardell realized he'd gotten nowhere.
      McCardell flew from his home in Houston to Tampa to meet with Bucs coach Jon Gruden, but said the meeting left his situation unchanged.

      ``While I have not changed my feelings or intentions concerning my situation, I decided to fly into town to personally meet with Coach Gruden in an effort to come to a mutually beneficial resolution to my holdout, whether by trade or otherwise,'' McCardell said in a statement.

      ``We both aired our views concerning the situation. Unfortunately, nothing was resolved, so I will return to Houston to continue my holdout.''

      Gruden was unavailable for comment on the meeting.

      McCardell has two years remaining on a contract that was slated to pay him $2.5 million this year and $2.75 million next year, but he is seeking close to the $4.4 million average being paid No. 1 receivers.

      McCardell contends several teams, including Chicago and Kansas City, have submitted trade offers to the Bucs, but Bucs general manager Bruce Allen has denied that claim.

      Roy Cummings
      -10-12-2004, 08:48 AM
    • DJRamFan
      [Bucs] Bucs Ready To Prove They're Better Than 1-4
      by DJRamFan
      Published: Oct 16, 2004






      TAMPA - There is no denying the Bucs are 1-4, but ask just about anyone in their locker room, and they'll tell you that record is not an accurate reflection of their ability and that they're eager to show it Monday against St. Louis.
      ``We are 1-4 in reality but this is a chance to prove that record is not indicative of the character of this team and that we're in fact better than that,'' DE Simeon Rice said.

      Many Bucs said they want to prove that to the rest of the league, but some said it's more important to prove that to the players in their own locker room.

      ``Right now it's a matter of us proving to ourselves that we're better than 1-4,'' WR Charles Lee said. ``We know what kind of character we have in here and nobody is going to quit.''

      QB Brian Griese isn't about to quit. Not when he suddenly has a chance to take the starting quarterback job away from the injured Chris Simms, but he said he's most concerned right now with keeping the Bucs on a winning track.

      ``This is a team that's very hungry and one that understands that we've let an opportunity slip away,'' said Griese, who will make his first start for the Bucs.

      ``We also understand that it's early in the season and that no matter what anybody says, no matter what injuries we might have, that we can get back into this and do something this season.''

      MANY HAPPY RETURNS: Led by Torrie Cox, who ranks second in the NFC with a 26.2- yard kick return average, the Bucs have the fifth-best mark in the NFL.

      The Bucs punt return team hasn't kept pace. That unit ranks 29th in the league with a 4.3-yard average, and the decision to replace injured returner Joey Galloway with Tim Brown seems to be one reason for the low rating.

      Brown has stood back as the Bucs punt returner 11 times this season, but has only returned three punts, the longest for 8 yards. Brown has called for a fair catch on the others, a move that Coach Jon Gruden defended this week.

      ``In fairness to the punt returners, I have never seen guys punt the ball like they are punting it to us,'' Gruden said. ``Some of these are orbital, majestic blows and there is going to be no return.''

      Still, Gruden admitted that the Bucs believe they can do better on punt returns and said it may not be long before they start working someone else there.

      ``We tried to get Michael Clayton to do that,'' Gruden said. ``He is not quite ready for that, although he will be in time. You need a great decision-maker and a sure-handed man back there.''

      Cox is another possibility. Gruden said Friday that Cox has been working on returning punts and the Bucs may use him there if he proves capable of handling the ball without incident.

      THE GREATEST RAP OF ALL: Former league...
      -10-16-2004, 04:09 PM
    • DJRamFan
      Brown quickly finds new job in Tampa Bay
      by DJRamFan
      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."'



      AP NEWS
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      Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
      -08-11-2004, 11:51 AM
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