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McCardell, Bucs battle rages on

The injury to Joey Galloway doesn't improve the holdout WR's bargaining power, GM Bruce Allen says.

ROGER MILLS
Published September 14, 2004

TAMPA - Bucs general manager Bruce Allen said Monday that the injury to receiver Joey Galloway will have no impact on the negotiation stalemate between the team and receiver Keenan McCardell.

"I don't think it changes anything," Allen said. "If Brad Johnson got hurt would Brian (Griese) have the right to ask for more money? No! Keenan has a contract and has elected to not play. We have tried to get Keenan to play."

McCardell's representatives said Monday that the Bucs recently turned down a lucrative offer from a team they did not identify. They say that further proves that the situation has gotten personal.

"We know for a fact that Bruce Allen was offered a fourth-round pick for Keenan last week and he refused," said Steve Caric, the spokesman for agent Gary Uberstine. "We and the team that offered the trade were blown away that it was not accepted.

"Obviously, for Bruce, it's more important for him to win off the field than it is for him to win on the field."

Allen, however, repeated that no team has inquired about McCardell.

"No one has called," he said.

McCardell, who had 84 receptions for 1,174 yards and eight receiving touchdowns last season, is due to make $2.5-million this season and $2.75-million in 2005, the final year of his contract.

The 12-year veteran wants to be paid a salary closer to the average of the No. 1 receivers in the league, approximately $4.4-million. McCardell is in the 47th day of his holdout.

But an already depleted receiving corps, which includes Joe Jurevicius being out for the first six weeks after back surgery, suffered another setback with Monday's announcement that Galloway (groin) will miss four to six weeks.

Regardless, Allen said McCardell's camp has gained no leverage and added the team has full confidence in the remaining receivers: Tim Brown, Bill Schroeder, Charles Lee, Frank Murphy and rookie Michael Clayton.

"They have worked very hard and they deserve an opportunity to play," Allen said.

"They are looking at it as a great opportunity and they are the ones who want to be here."

Through a series of local and national interviews, McCardell has made it clear that he no longer wants to play for the Bucs and would like to be traded.

Asked if the the Bucs plan to initiate trade talks, Allen responded: "I don't deal in absolutes. But, Keenan has a contract and says he's going to sit out the season."

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