LB Derrick Brooks was selected to a team-record 11 Pro Bowls as a Buccaneer
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers today announced that they have released LB Derrick Brooks, RB Warrick Dunn, WR Joey Galloway, WR Ike Hilliard and LB Cato June.
"Our family and the entire Tampa Bay community owe Derrick an indescribable measure of gratitude for all that he has meant over the last 14 years," said Buccaneers Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer. "His play on the field and leadership in the locker room helped resurrect our franchise and we look forward to celebrating his certain enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame."
Joining the Buccaneers as the 28th overall selection in the 1995 NFL Draft, Brooks quickly established himself as the league's best linebacker. Deemed too small by some talent evaluators, Brooks went on to redefine the weakside linebacker position in the Tampa Two defense and is regarded as the most decorated and accomplished player in team history.
Brooks earned a team-record 11 Pro Bowl selections (1997-2006, 2008), including 10 straight, during his 14 seasons in Tampa Bay. His 11 career Pro Bowl selections are second-most by a linebacker in NFL history, trailing only Junior Seau's 12 selections. Brooks is one of only four players in NFL history to have been named to 10 consecutive Pro Bowls, won AP Defensive Player of the Year and won a Super Bowl, joining LB Mike Singletary, LB Lawrence Taylor and DE Reggie White on that exclusive list. Brooks captured his AP Defensive Player of the Year award in 2002, the same season in which he led the Buccaneers to their first-ever world championship in Super Bowl XXXVII. That season, he also became the only linebacker in NFL history to have three interception returns for touchdowns in a single season.
For 13 consecutive seasons (1996-2008), Brooks recorded 100 or more tackles, the longest active streak in the NFL, and his 2,198 career tackles lead all active NFL players and are tops in team history. Having never missed a game in his 14 seasons, Brooks' 224 consecutive games played are tied for most among all active NFL defenders and his 208 consecutive starts lead all active players. Overall, Brooks has appeared in 224 career regular season games with 221 starts, both team records. His career totals in the regular season include 2,198 tackles, 25 interceptions, 25 forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, 135 passes defensed, 13.5 sacks and seven touchdowns.
Brooks' legacy in Tampa Bay will be remembered for his work in the community as much as his work on the field. One of the most philanthropic athletes in any sport, Brooks was the co-recipient of the 2000 Walter Payton/NFL Man of the Year award, as well as the recipient of the 2003 Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award and the 2004 Byron "Whizzer" White Award.
Dunn, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, recently completed his 12th season in the league and last year became the sixth player in NFL history to record over 10,000 rushing yards and 500 receptions. Dunn has played in 181 games with 154 starts and amassed 10,967 rushing yards, 19th-best in NFL history, as well as 510 receptions and 64 touchdowns (49 rushing and 15 receiving). The 2004 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year and 2009 Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award recipient, Dunn also created the Homes for the Holidays program, which has assisted 84 single parents and 224 dependents in Atlanta, Tampa, Baton Rouge and Tallahassee.
Galloway, who joined the Buccaneers in 2004, is one of the most prolific receivers in team history. He is the only player in Buccaneers history to record three 1,000-yard receiving seasons (2005-2007) and is one of only two players in NFL history, along with Henry Ellard, to have three 1,000-yard receiving seasons with two different teams (also 1995, 1997-1998 with Seattle). He finishes his career with the Buccaneers ranked third in team history with 28 receiving touchdowns, fourth with 3,912 receiving yards, ninth with 248 receptions and 10th with 174 points.
Hilliard played for Tampa Bay for the last four seasons after spending his first eight seasons in the NFL with the New York Giants. Over his career, Hilliard has caught 546 passes for 6,397 yards and 35 touchdowns in 161 games. He led the team with 62 receptions in 2007 and tied for second on the squad with 47 catches in 2008.
June joined the Buccaneers prior to the 2007 season and saw action in all 32 games over the last two years with 28 starts. For his career, June has played in 88 games with 73 starts and recorded 623 tackles, 12 interceptions, 22 passes defensed, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one sack.
General Manager Mark Dominik
On Derrick Brooks: "I have had the fortune of being here for all 14 seasons of Derrick's extraordinary career, and have seen firsthand the impact he has had on every aspect of this organization. He was a true professional in every sense of the word. He will forever represent the standard by which all future Buccaneers are measured."
On Warrick Dunn: "Warrick Dunn has represented this organization on so many levels with his unselfishness on and off the field. He is a great football player and unmatched competitor. Warrick's work in the community is evident by the number of people he has touched with his kindness."
On Joey Galloway, Ike Hilliard and Cato June: "We thank Joey, Ike and Cato for their contributions to this franchise over the last several years. They were crucial to our success and we appreciate all of their hard work."
Head Coach Raheem Morris
On Derrick Brooks: "There is no way to adequately thank Derrick Brooks for his years of dedication and service to this team and community, or for his impact on me personally. He is a once in a lifetime kind of player and man, and I am very fortunate to have had the chance to work with him and learn from him. Those who played with him and coached him are better because of it."
On the other released players: "All of these guys are very special in our hearts and within our organization. I would like to thank them for their dedication and commitment to our franchise over the years."