TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Northeast Ohio native Joe Jurevicius left the New York Giants and agreed to a four-year contract with Tampa Bay, giving the Buccaneers a receiver coming off his best season.
Jurevicius was an unrestricted free agent and New York had hoped to re-sign him. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound receiver also drew interest from New England, St. Louis and Denver.
"To have an opportunity to play for Jon Gruden, one of the pre-eminent offensive coaches in the league, is a dream come true," the receiver's agent, Neil Cornrich, said Tuesday. Cornrich declined to discuss financial terms of the contract.
Jurevicius had been the Giants' No. 3 receiver. He appeared in 58 games and had 102 receptions for 1,442 yards and five touchdowns in four seasons. He started nine games last season and finished with career highs in catches (51), yards (706) and TDs (3).
The 27-year-old Jurevicius was a second-round draft pick of the Giants in 1998.
"Joe is a young, developing receiver that brings great size and toughness to our group of receivers," Bucs general manager Rich McKay said. "We liked Joe coming out of Penn State and are pleased to add him to our team."
Since losing Jacquez Green and Reidel Anthony to free agency, the Bucs have been looking for a receiver to play opposite of Keyshawn Johnson in Gruden's version of the West Coast offense.
The Bucs signed former Broncos receiver Keith Poole last month and most likely will consider receivers who become available June 1, when teams may release players and take a lighter hit against the salary cap.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)