The 29-year-old Brown had only 27 catches and one TD over the last two seasons, even though he had some nice moments, like his two catches for 64 yards against
The Bucs believe a change of scenery will help Brown recapture the talents that enabled him to lead the Eagles in receiving yards (816) and touchdowns (9) in his second season.
In fact, the Eagles - which is a pretty good organization - felt highly enough of Brown to sign him to a five-year, $27-million extension in 2006. When the deal was announced, Eagles coach Andy Reid called Brown 'one of the hardest workers on our football team.''
What happened after that was a series of injuries and some shrewd drafting by the Eagles.
Brown lost his job to DeSean Jackson two years ago. Then last season, the Eagles drafted another explosive receiver in Jeremy Maclin, who also started as a rookie while Jason Avant won the job as the slot receiver.
What hurt Brown was his inability to play special teams. Fourth receivers don't play many snaps, so they have to contribute to the game in order to be among the active 47 players on Sunday.
Brown's pride was hurt by being inactive in several games last season. He is quiet by nature, according to GM Mark Dominik. He is a good route runner, but he's not going to give the Bucs anything on special teams or as a blocker in the running game.
Since the 2011 draft doesn't figure to be very deep, a sixth-rounder is not much to give up for Brown.
The Bucs needed some extra targets for franchise quarterback Josh Freeman. Tight end Kellen Winslow led the Bucs in receiving last season.
Sammie Stroughter caught 31 passes as a rookie, but was used mostly in the slot on third down. Maurice Stovall has been a better special teams player than wideout. And Michael Clayton had just 16 catches last season.
Brown can only make the Bucs better.
--Bucs coach Raheem Morris believes that S Sean Jones will provide some help in run support.
"He's a nice box presence, but he also has some athleticism on the back end and some big-time movement," Morris said. "You're talking about a guy who, when you see him, you'll see a demanding presence. You'll see a guy who comes in the box and you have to account for."
--It's hard to take issue with GM Mark Dominik's track record in trades. Although many of these moves were scrutinized at the time, they've mostly worked out.
Start with the trade of a second round draft choice in 2009 and a fifth-rounder in 2010 to
The Bucs also dealt defensive end Gaines Adams to the Chicago Bears for a second-round pick in 2010, which turned out to be 42nd overall. They traded tight end Alex Smith to
They dealt quarterback Luke McCown to the Jaguars for a sixth-rounder. McCown played in three games, completing 1 of 3 passes for 2 yards last season.
Finally, the Bucs traded their first- and sixth-round picks last year to the Cleveland Browns to move up two sports in the first round and select quarterback Josh Freeman with the 17th overall choice.
--WR Sammie Stroughter, who is recovering from foot surgery, has been a regular at
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We're excited to add a guy who was a productive player in the NFL at the receiver position when he had an opportunity to play. We always look in any avenue, whether it's free agency or a trade or a waiver claim, find a way to upgrade the talent of our roster and with this trade, we feel like we did." -- Bucs GM Mark Dominik on the trade for wide receiver Reggie Brown.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
The Bucs signed free agent S Sean Jones to a two-year deal Wednesday. Terms were not disclosed.
But the Jones' signing would not preclude the Bucs from addressing the position in the draft, or even with the No. 3 overall pick.
At least Bucs general manager Mark Dominik is a man of his word.
Several months ago, he declared that the team would not be big players in free agency and their actions -- or inaction -- have backed that up.
After going 3-13 in their first year under Raheem Morris, the Bucs certainly have plenty of needs. But they have elected to try and address through the NFL draft.
The biggest off-season addition came via the trade route. The Bucs sent a sixth-round pick in 2011 to the Eagles for receiver Reggie Brown.
Dominik has said the team wants to build around franchise quarterback Josh Freeman. But there aren't a lot of productive targets on the roster outside of tight end Kellen Winslow.
Sammie Stroughter caught 31 passes as a rookie, restricted free agent Maurice Stovall returns and Michael Clayton is coming off a 16-catch season.
Brown, 29, is an interesting player. He was very productive early in his career and led the Eagles in receiving yards and touchdowns his second pro season. But the Eagles did a good job of drafting wide receivers such as DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.
The Bucs also addressed their safety position by signing Eagles free agent Sean Jones to a two-year contract. Jones started 53 of his past 59 games with the Browns and Eagles, including nine in
The Bucs acquired some depth at linebacker by signing Raiders free agent Jon Alston. He would be a backup at outside linebacker.
1. Defensive line: The Bucs allowed nearly 160 yards rushing per game last season and plan to revamp their defensive line, most likely through the draft. Many of their 2009 starters may not return. DE Jimmy Wilkerson is a
2. Wide receiver: The Bucs need some targets for second-year QB Josh Freeman. The team decided not to re-sign free agent Antonio Bryant. That leaves Sammie Stroughter, RFA Maurice Stovall and underachieving Michael Clayton.
3. Offensive tackle: If you're going to have a franchise QB, you need a franchise LT. Both starting tackles Donald Penn and Jeremy Trueblood at RFAs. Penn was miffed because the Bucs did not offer him a contract extension. Don't discount the Bucs using the No. 3 overall pick on a left tackle.
MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.
FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--S Jermaine Phillips broke his hand and finished the year on injured reserve.
--DE Jimmy Wilkerson has started at left defensive end is recovering from a torn ACL. He proved he's not an every down player.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)
--FB Byron Storer (not tendered as RFA) spent the year rehabbing his knee. He could be done.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (*indicates restricted because of uncapped year)
--WR Mark Bradley (tendered at $1.809M with second-round pick as compensation).
--*OT Donald Penn (tendered at $3.168M with first- and third-round picks as compensation) is a very capable left tackle and did his best the first weeks of 2009. But then he seemed to shut it down and gained weight.
--*LB Barrett Ruud (tendered at $3.268M with first- and third-round picks as compensation) is a solid, if not flashy middle linebacker who thrives in the current system. The Bucs would like to see more nasty in his game.
--*WR Maurice Stovall (tendered at $1.176M with third-round pick as compensation) came on late in 2009 after injuries were experienced by Michael Clayton. He's a tall, rangy receiver.
--*OT Jeremy Trueblood (tendered at $1.759M with second-round pick as compensation), as the starting right tackle, led the Bucs in penalties against last season.
--*RB Cadillac Williams (tendered at $2.299M with first-round picks as compensation) was the Bucs' most inspirational player who played in all 16 games despite tearing previously the patellar tendon in both knees.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.
PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: None.
-*LB Jon Alston: Not tendered as RFA by Raiders; terms unknown.
--WR Reggie Brown (trade Eagles).
--S Sean Jones: UFA Eagles; terms unknown.
--S Will Allen:
--P Josh Bidwell (released).
--WR Antonio Bryant:
--WR Brian Clark: Not tendered as RFA/Lions; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--CB Torrie Cox (released).
--P Dirk Johnson (released).
--LB Matt McCoy: Not tendered as RFA/Seahawks; terms unknown.