Chargers trade for McCardell

The San Diego Chargers traded third and sixth round draft picks to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for wide receiver Keenan McCardell on Tuesday.

Keenan McCardell, caught 84 passes for 1,174 yards (14.0) and a career-high eight touchdowns for the Bucs in 2003 and earned his second career Pro Bowl berth.

The 34 year old receiver held out this season and never suited up for the Bucs. McCardell has two years remaining on a contract that is slated to pay him $2.5 million this year and $2.75 million next season. He has been asking for a deal that pays him something close to the $4.4 million average that No. 1 receivers earn.

McCardell had met with Tampa coach Jon Gruden on October 11 to see if they could hash out their differences but no movement was made.

Now he joins a team that sorely lacks a presence at wide receiver -- especially with the uncertain condition of Reche Caldwell who was injured on Sunday.

"Keenan is a proven talent in this league," said Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer. "He has caught a lot of balls, played in a lot of big games and had a great deal of success. We welcome him to the Chargers."

"This is an exciting day for us," General Manager A.J. Smith said. "Keenan brings a tremendous amount of experience, leadership and play-making ability to the Chargers."

McCardell, 6-1, 191, has 724 career catches which ranks fifth among active players and has five 1,000 yard seasons.

He currently has a streak of 79 consecutive games with at least one reception dating back to Dec. 20, 1998. His career totals include 724 catches, 9,370 yards, 12.9 avg. and 52 touchdowns. McCardell also has caught 51 passes and scored five touchdowns in 13 postseason games.

McCardell issued the following statement through

"I am thrilled to be a San Diego Charger. The Chargers are a great organization with a lot of great young players and an outstanding head coach in Marty Schottenheimer. I also want to assure the Chargers that I have been working hard every day to stay in peak physical condition, and I am prepared to come in and make an immediate contribution. I could not be happier with this trade."

"I will miss my friends in Tampa Bay. I won a Super Bowl there and have a lot of great memories with the Bucs, but it was time to move on. Although we have had our share of differences during my holdout, I am grateful that General Manager Bruce Allen and Coach (Jon) Gruden ultimately decided that everyone's best interest would be best served by this trade. I wish both of them, as well as my other coaches and teammates, the very best. I also would like to thank A.J. Smith and the Chargers organization for having the confidence in me to bring me in with a midseason trade."

The Chargers will get a two-week roster exemption for McCardell and he is expected to be at practice on Wednesday.

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