Buccaneers Sign WR Keith Poole

March 22 - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added Keith Poole to their receiving corps on Friday, signing the former New Orleans Saints receiver to a one-year deal. Poole will compete for the number three receiver position in Tampa Bay.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed wide receiver Keith Poole to a one-year contract on Friday. The deal will pay Poole $550,000, but because of a new league rule pertaining to the signing of veteran players to the league minimum, only $450,000 will count against the Bucs salary cap.

Poole, 27, is a speedy wideout who has suffered various leg and hamstring injuries over the past couple of years which has hampered his production. He passed his physical on Friday at One Buc Place and will participate in the team's first mini-camp, which starts April 5.

"He passed his physical and is finally healthy," Poole's agent Tom Mills told Buccaneer Magazine. "His hamstring injuries have required rest and he's gotten plenty of that. Keith sees an opportunity to compete for the number two or number three receiver spots in Tampa. As it stands right now, Keyshawn Johnson is the only veteran player at the position."

Poole (6-foot-1, 193) played in six games with Denver last season after spending his first four years in New Orleans. The Saints selected him out of Arizona State in the fourth round of the 1997 NFL Draft.

His best year in New Orleans was in 1999 when he hauled in 42 passes for 796 yards and six scores. He has played in 54 games with 26 starts, and has 96 career catches for 1,734 yards and 11 touchdowns. Poole also has a career receiving average of 18.1 yards per catch.

The Bucs now have six wide receivers on its roster, including Poole, Johnson, Frank Murphy, Milton Wynn, E.G. Green and Jermale Kelly. Johnson is the established primary receiver, and Poole will compete with the rest of rostered receivers for the second and third receiver spot. The Bucs are still looking for a number two receiver in free agency and the upcoming NFL Draft.

Former Detroit receiver Johnnie Morton visited One Buc Place on Friday, and Tampa Bay is very much interested in acquiring his services, as well as his former Lions teammate, Germane Crowell. Morton, who would be an ideal No. 2 is also expected to visit St. Louis on Tuesday and has told the Rams that he won't sign any contracts until he meets with them first.

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