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OT: Tim Brown to retire


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Classy Brown gets a deserving sendoff

Classy Brown gets a deserving sendoff

By Adam Schefter

Special to NFL.com

(July 6, 2005) -- The final route of wide receiver Tim Brown's illustrious career has turned out to be an out pattern.

After 17 decorated NFL seasons, Brown has decided to retire, those close to him have confirmed. The Raiders are expected to hold a press conference to honor one of the greatest players in franchise history on Monday, July 18, when Brown is scheduled to make it official. That's when owner Al Davis will give the wide receiver the sendoff he deserves.

The press conference will come four days before Brown, the last Raider left to have played in Los Angeles, celebrates his 39th birthday.

A part of Brown wanted to continue playing. Even last week he admitted the fire still burned in him. But as Brown surveyed the NFL landscape this offseason, he found that there was little interest in his services. As it turned out, there was more interest in him from the television side.

FOX-TV would like Brown to join its team and become an analyst. NBC has mulled the idea of Brown joining its team to commentate on Notre Dame, where the wide receiver won the Heisman Trophy for the 1987 season. Other business ventures have also appealed to Brown, who always has been one of the classiest players representing the NFL. In the end, Brown decided it was time to take off his cleats and slip on his loafers.

The numbers are now complete on one of the greatest careers any receiver ever has had: 1,094 catches -- third most in NFL history; 14,934 receiving yards -- second most in NFL history; 100 receiving touchdowns -- tied for third most in NFL history; nine Pro Bowl selections; nine straight seasons of at least 1,000 receiving yards; a streak of 175 straight starts for the Raiders; most every significant Raiders receiving record. And now, Brown will be an almost-certain first-ballot Hall of Fame selection.

Brown will first be eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2010, a class that is expected to include running back Emmitt Smith, the leading rusher in NFL history.

Away from the field, one of Brown's trademarks was his candor. It almost was as if he served as the Raiders spokesman. Yet at times, it left him at odds with team management. But even through some of those rough times, Brown always remained one of the most popular players in the locker room.

Though Brown will be remembered as a Raider, he did finish his career in Tampa Bay, where he caught 15 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown in the first three games of the 2004 season before watching his playing time diminish. Brown might have made his greatest mark in Tampa with rookie wide receiver Michael Clayton, who consistently credited Brown for being a role model on and off the field. It is the way Brown always has handled himself.

But Brown is not the only former Raider to call it quits this offseason. Former NFL MVP Rich Gannon will also be retiring, though the Raiders are not thought to have arranged a press conference for him yet.

Adam Schefter's "Around the League" reports and commentaries can be seen regularly on NFL Total Access.

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great guy, great career..but definitely time to move on. Thanks for being a classy, blue collar work ethic. guy and giving of yourself to the game/sport. (of course he wont see this but thanks anyway)

You need to talk to Jerry, Tim! *laughs* j/k...hey if a man wants to play and someone will give him a shot, so be it. who am I to say.

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Its always sad when an all time great retires without a ring. Class guy all the way. I feel like he would have retired a few years ago had he won a superbowl earlier in his career.

That said, do you all buy the whole "signing a one day contract so they can finish their career with the team they're most associated with" deal? I never really understood it and it seems to happen all the time, especially in football. Yeah, Brown is technically retiring as a Raider but he played his last season with a different team....

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