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Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday …Tim Brown

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Tim BrownTim Brown Tim Brown Raider

Like Charles Haley this was long over due as Tim Brown is now a Hall of Famer.

Brown was selected by the Los Angeles Raiders with the 6th pick of the 1988 NFL Draft. In his first NFL season, he led the league in kickoff returns, return yards, and yards per return average. He also led the NFL in punt returns in 1994, and receptions in 1997. In March 1994, Brown was offered and signed a free-agent offer-sheet with the Denver Broncos. The Raiders matched the offer soon thereafter. He was voted to the Pro Bowl nine times, in 1988 and 1991 as a kick returner, and in 1993-97, 1999 and 2001 as a receiver. In 2001, Brown would later play alongside another well-known wide receiver, Jerry Rice. On December 9, 2001, Brown returned a punt 88 yards for a touchdown in a home game against the Kansas City Chiefs, making him the oldest player in NFL history to score a touchdown on a punt return. In 2002 he passed Gene Upshaw to become the Raiders’ all-time leader in games played with 224. He also set Raiders franchise records for receptions, receiving yards, and punt return yards.

Brown was released by the Raiders before the 2004 season, as he did not want to accept a smaller role in the offense. He was signed shortly thereafter by the Buccaneers (coached by former Raider head coach Jon Gruden). The move was controversial, considering that Brown had always been a fan favorite in the Oakland area and was much admired by many current and former Raiders players and staff over the sixteen years he spent with the Raider organization. He was the last of the Los Angeles Raiders to remain with Oakland.

On September 27, 2004, in his first game at Oakland since being signed by Tampa Bay, Brown reached 100 career receiving touchdowns, tying him (with Steve Largent) for 3rd on the NFL’s all-time career receiving touchdown list at that time (behind former teammate Jerry Rice [204] and Cris Carter [130]). He received a standing ovation from the Oakland Raider crowd.

In 2005, Brown signed a one-day contract with the Raiders to retire with the team. The July 18 news conference was attended by two Raiders officials and only one active Raider, wide receiver Jerry Porter. Brown retired with 14,934 receiving yards, the second-highest total in NFL history, 1,094 receptions (3rd), and 100 touchdown catches (3rd-Tied). Brown also gained 190 rushing yards, 3,320 punt-return yards (5th in NFL history), 3 fumble-return yards, and 1,235 yards returning kickoffs. This gave him a total of 19,682 combined net yards, ranking him #5 among the NFL’s all-time leaders at the time of his retirement. He also scored 105 total touchdowns (100 receiving, 1 rushing, 3 punt returns, 1 kickoff return). Brown is the only player ever to retire in the NFL’s top five leaders for both receiving and return yards.

Brown became eligible for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010. He was, however, not selected. Brown was considered a long shot to get in on his first try as there was a logjam of accomplished receiver candidates such as Jerry Rice (Brown’s former teammate), Cris Carter and Andre Reed. In 2009, Brown was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Tim Brown at an autograph signing in 2004.

On January 7, 2012, Brown was selected as a finalist for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

On January 11, 2013, Brown was again selected as a finalist for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

On January 31, 2015, Brown was selected for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday salutes …Tim Brown.

Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions 1,094
Receiving yards 14,934
All-purpose yards 19,683
Touchdowns 105
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