Eagles trade Reggie Brown to Buccaneers for 2011 pick

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    By LES BOWEN; bowenl@phillynews.com ,  The Philadelphia Daily News
    Updated Mar 9, 2010 9:33 AM ET

    Maybe someday we'll know what derailed Reggie Brown's career with the Eagles. For now, all we know is that Brown is out of roster purgatory, and on his way to Tampa.

    The Eagles announced last night they were trading Brown, a 2005 second-round draft choice, 35th overall in that draft, to the Bucs for an undisclosed 2011 pick, which the Tampa Tribune said would be a sixth-rounder.

    Brown, who seemed to be a rising star his first three seasons out of Georgia, went from a career-high 61 catches in 2007 to nine last season. He was carried on the 2009 roster only because the cap penalty for cutting him would have been so prohibitive - around $6 million - the Eagles couldn't afford to do it. In 2010, though, there is no cap, and now, there is no Brown.

    Agent Bill Johnson said last night his client is "grateful to have the opportunity to go to Tampa." Johnson mentioned several times that Eagles general manager Howie Roseman did Brown a favor in trading him, and that there were no hard feelings from their end.

    In 2006, when Brown had 3 1/2 years left on his rookie deal, after setting what was then a team rookie record with 43 catches in 2005, he and Johnson agreed to a 5-year extension that Johnson said could be worth $27 million by the time it expired, following the 2014 season. The day the deal was announced, Eagles coach Andy Reid called Brown "one of the hardest workers we have on the football team."

    Somehow, that seemed to stop being the case. Injuries got Brown off to a bad start in 2008, when he lost his starting job and ended up catching only 18 passes in 10 games. Last season, with DeSean Jackson blossoming, Jeremy Maclin winning a starting role as a rookie, and Jason Avant laying claim to the slot, there was no regular role for Brown, the same guy who'd caught 10 passes for 149 yards in the Eagles' two playoff games in the 2006 season.

    If you're into reading tea leaves, there was the fact that Brown's first 2 years, his best games seemed to come after Donovan McNabb went down for the season with injuries. McNabb was the quarterback all season in '07, when Brown caught 61 passes, but his touchdowns went from eight in the previous year to four, and there was a point in October when Brown talked of getting on the same page with the quarterback. *

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