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Tampa Bay Buccaneers keeping an eye on receiver Plaxico Burress

Still strong: Receiver Sammie Stroughter, taking part in a rookie minicamp after the draft, continues to impress coach Raheem Morris.

BRIAN CASSELLA | Times

Still strong: Receiver Sammie Stroughter, taking part in a rookie minicamp after the draft, continues to impress coach Raheem Morris.

TAMPA — Coach Raheem Morris indicated Thursday that the Bucs will monitor the case of former Giants WR Plaxico Burress.

A team representative contacted Burress last week, but there has been no talk of signing the troubled receiver.

Burress is due in court June 15 for a hearing on weapons charges as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in November at a Manhattan nightclub. He was released by the Giants in April.

If Burress clears his legal hurdles, he still could face a suspension by the NFL. Agent Drew Rosenhaus has said three teams have expressed interest but none wants to be identified.

"Plaxico has got to deal with his issue with the league," Morris said. "We'll see how that plays out. But he's a great player."

WR Antonio Bryant said during an interview with Sirius satellite radio that he has lobbied the Bucs to acquire Burress or WR Anquan Boldin, who remains in a contract dispute with the Cardinals.

"Why not him or Boldin?" Bryant said. "Why not? Why not? Why not? We will all get our opportunities. Look, the Cardinals had Boldin and (Larry) Fitzgerald on the same field and got to the Super Bowl. There would be no problem here. You think I will complain about balls if we go to the Super Bowl? Come on!"

Five wide: Bryant and Michael Clayton appear to be penciled in as starting receivers. But Morris identified five who are making a push for playing time.

“Kelly Campbell, Dexter Jackson, Brian Clark and (Cortez) Hankton. This week, a young man by the name of (Sammie) Stroughter has jumped into that mix," Morris said of April's seventh-round pick out of Oregon State. "That second tier of wideouts has stepped up, and they're fighting and competing. And it's exactly what we talked about around here; what we want and what we need: competition at every position.

Jackson was a second-round pick in 2008. Clark is a Tampa native who was signed in 2007. Hankton played for the Jaguars in 2003-06 and was on the Bucs' injured reserve in 2008, and Campbell entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Vikings in 2002. Last season, he played for Edmonton of the Canadian Football League and had 54 catches for 1,224 yards and seven touchdowns.

"To elaborate on Kelly Campbell, you see elite speed," Morris said. "You see a guy who can get downfield and make plays. You see a guy not afraid."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers keeping an eye on receiver Plaxico Burress 05/28/09 [Last modified: Friday, May 29, 2009 6:48am]
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