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  1. Bucs

Ex-Bucs, Gators wide receiver Louis Murphy gets fresh start with 49ers

Louis Murphy stretches for a first down during a 2014 game against the Atlanta Falcons. [Times files (2014)]
Louis Murphy stretches for a first down during a 2014 game against the Atlanta Falcons. [Times files (2014)]
Published Aug. 1, 2017

Former Bucs receiver Louis Murphy, who hasn't played in the NFL since tearing his ACL in October 2015, got a fresh start on Monday, signing with the San Francisco 49ers.

Murphy is a rare triple-local — he starred at Lakewood High and won two national titles at Florida before signing with the Bucs in 2014. He now heads back to the other Bay area, where his NFL career began with the Raiders in 2009.

"You gotta smile, be thankful and trust God thru the valley experience," Murphy wrote on Instagram with a picture of him signing his new contract. "Been a long road. To all my family, friends, trainers, coaches and fans that stayed true, you know who you are, I appreciate you, from the bottom of my heart. Glad to be (a part) of such a Class A organization. Just the beginning, time to be great!"

Murphy, 30, had 31 catches for 380 yards and two touchdowns in his first season with the Bucs in 2014, and had 10 for 198 in 2015 before he was injured just six games into the season.

Murphy's had off-field headlines since his injury — getting locked in a museum after drinking too much at a friend's wedding in 2016, and getting arrested for mistakenly bringing a loaded gun to the airport this spring, though charges were later dropped.

He's also stayed active in his hometown through his "1st Downs 4 Life" foundation and was a guest speaker at the "Keys to Manhood" seminar at St. Petersburg College this spring.

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