In each of his three seasons in Cincinnati, WR Danny Farmer came on strong at the end of the year
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' bustling 2004 offseason continued on Friday when, for the second day in a row, the team added to its corps of wide receivers through free agency.
On Friday, the Buccaneers announced the signing of former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Danny Farmer, one day after adding former Oakland Raiders wideout/kick returner Marcus Knight. As is team policy, terms of Farmer's contract were not disclosed.
Though the 2004 free agency period doesn't begin until March, teams are still free to sign players who were not under contract with any team at the end of the 2003 season. The Bucs have signed 16 such players in January, including five receivers – Farmer, Knight, Frank Murphy, Justin Skaggs and Fabian Davis, who was on the Bucs' practice squad last year. Of the five, Farmer has the most extensive NFL experience.
The 6-3, 215-pound Farmer, who also played varsity volleyball at UCLA, has an intriguing size-speed combination. Though his three seasons in Cincinnati (2000-02) were marred by a variety of unrelated injuries, he rebounded each time to finish the season on a strong note. Farmer did not play in the league in 2003, but he owns 43 career receptions for 611 yards and one touchdown. He is considered a big-play threat, as evidenced by his excellent career mark of 14.2 yards per catch.
Farmer was originally drafted out of UCLA by Pittsburgh in the fourth round in 2000, but went to the Bengals as a rookie through a waiver claim. Of the 19 receptions (for 268 yards) he hauled in that season, 17 came in Cincinnati's final six games, including 10 in the final two contests, his first two NFL starts. In fact, his five-catch, 102-yard outing against Jacksonville on Dec. 17, 2000 was the only 100-yard receiving game by a Bengal that season. Farmer's stats with the Bengals also include one 11-yard punt return in 2001.
In 2001, Farmer added 15 receptions for 228 yards and a touchdown, all in the season's last nine games. Though his season was marred by knee and ankle injuries, Farmer still played in 12 games with one start and led the Bengals with a 15.2-yard-per-catch average. The following season, knee and toe injuries slowed his momentum from 2001 and he finished with just nine receptions for 115 yards, but five of those grabs came in the final four games of 2002.
Farmer started all four of his years at UCLA and finished as the school's all-time leader in receiving yards, with 3,020. His career total of 159 catches ranked second in Bruins history, and he was the team's offensive MVP as a senior. Farmer's top collegiate season came during his junior year, when he hauled in 58 passes for 1,274 yards and nine touchdowns. He was actually a two-sport varsity athlete at UCLA, also playing on the volleyball team.