Bucs News And Notes: Monday

March 3 - Tampa Bay's discussions on a reworked contract with Phillip Williams, who is quarterback Brad Johnson's agent, have backfired on the Buccaneers. Williams and his client are unhappy with the fact that the team's latest proposal for a renegotiated contract excluded $1.5 million of guaranteed salary in 2004. In other news, the Bucs re-signed wide receiver Onome Ojo on Monday.

According to several published reports, Tampa Bay's renegotiated contract proposal to Brad Johnson's agent, Phillip Williams, has apparently backfired on the Bucs.

The Bucs, who are approximately $550,000 under the NFL-mandated $75-million salary cap, have been trying to rework Johnson's contract for weeks in order to create about $4.5 million in cap room, but negotiations have hit a wall.

According to Williams, Tampa Bay's most recent proposal inexcusably excluded $1.5 million of guaranteed money in 2004 from Johnson's current contract.

Johnson signed a five-year, $28-million contract with the Bucs during the 2001 offseason. Unless the Bucs and Williams resume talks and strike a deal on a reworked contract, Johnson will have a $5.8-million cap value in 2003, and the Bucs could have a hard time finding the money to re-sign some of its free agents, including middle linebacker Shelton Quarles and left tackle Roman Oben.

Tampa Bay's starting quarterback completed 62.3 percent of his passes for 2,799 yards and tossed 22 touchdown passes and just six interceptions during last year's regular season.

While contract negotiations between Williams and the Bucs haven't officially been killed, they've certainly come to a screeching halt.

Neither the Buccaneers nor Williams could be reached for comment.

In other news, the Buccaneers re-signed wide receiver Onome Ojo on Monday.

Ojo (6-foot-4, 205-pounds) spent most of last season on Tampa Bay's five-man practice squad before he suffered a season-ending knee injury during a practice in November.

Ojo joined the Bucs on September 4, 2002, which was just a few days after he was waived by the New Orleans Saints. Ojo entered the league as a fifth-round selection in the 2001 NFL Draft.


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