TAMPA — The first new target for quarterback Josh Freeman is another 29-year-old receiver who has had trouble finding the huddle, much less the end zone.
On Monday, the Bucs acquired Eagles receiver Reggie Brown for a sixth-round pick in 2011. Originally a second-round choice out of Georgia in 2005, Brown has just 27 catches and one touchdown in the past two seasons.
Brown will compete with Sammie Stroughter (31 catches as a rookie in 2009), Maurice Stovall (44 catches in four years), Michael Clayton (16 catches in '09) and former Bears and Chiefs receiver Mark Bradley (second-round pick) for playing time.
Brown slipped steadily on the Eagles' depth chart the past two seasons and was their fifth receiver behind DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant and Kevin Curtis.
He was inactive for the first two games of the 2009 season, starting just one game when Maclin was injured.
The Bucs decided not to offer a contract to 29-year-old Antonio Bryant, the team's franchise player in 2009 who is scheduled to visit the Bengals today. Free agent receiver Brian Clark signed a one-year deal with the Lions on Monday.
Brown caught only nine passes for 155 yards and no touchdowns last season. In 2008, Brown was plagued by injuries and lost his starting job to Jackson.
Eventually, he fell behind Avant and Curtis and was inactive for Philadelphia's NFC playoff game against the Cardinals.
Contrast the past few years with the start of Brown's career. As a rookie, he took over in the starting lineup for suspended receiver Terrell Owens. He led all rookies with 571 receiving yards and was second with 43 receptions.
Brown is signed through 2014. He agreed to a five-year extension in 2007 that included $10 million in guarantees. Brown has 177 career receptions and 17 touchdowns.