Bucs sign former Lakewood, Gators WR Murphy
The Bucs have another homecoming to announce, as former Lakewood and Gators receiver Louis Murphy was signed to a one-year contract Wednesday, helping the team's depth in the passing game.
Murphy, 26, is on his fourth team in as many seasons, having played for the Raiders (2009-11), Panthers (2012) and Giants (2013). The former fourth-round draft pick had four touchdowns as a rookie with Oakland in 2009, but has just four in four seasons since -- he finished with six catches for 37 yards and a touchdown with the Giants last season.
Murphy, who had visited the Bucs and Bengals, gives the team a veteran to complement starters Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams, and the team is still likely to use a draft pick on a receiver in May. Tiquan Underwood, who stepped up with four touchdowns after Williams was injured last season, signed a free-agent deal with the Panthers.
Murphy, 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, has totaled 121 catches for 1,744 yards in his NFL career. He is the second Bucs signing of a former local high school and college star in the past week, following cornerback Mike Jenkins, who played at Bradenton Southeast and at USF.