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Old 18 Mar 2004, 08:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Galloway/Keyshawn trade just about done

Their names are arguably larger than their current talent levels, but wide receivers Keyshawn Johnson and Joey Galloway are about to switch teams in a trade rumored for weeks, and now absent any roadblocks.


The final hurdle was cleared on Thursday when Galloway agreed to a one-year, $2 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The nine-year veteran, who averaged just 37.8 receptions in his four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, can earn an additional $600,000 in incentives.


Two weeks ago, Johnson, who was deactivated by the Bucs for the final six contests of the 2003 season, reached an agreement in principle with Dallas officials. He will sign a four-year contract believed to be worth $20 million, including a signing bonus of $4 million. Some league sources have insisted the deal is heavily backloaded, with about $9 million of the total coming in the final season.


Johnson had four seasons remaining on his contract with the Bucs with a scheduled base salary of $5 million for 2004. He was also due a $1 million roster bonus. Galloway's contract with the Cowboys, signed in 2000, had three years left; he was due a base salary of $6.31 million.


Both veterans carried salary-cap charges of over $8 million for 2004.


Because of the paperwork involved, and the technicality of having each player sign his new contract with his former franchise, the trade will not be formalized before Friday at the earliest. The Cowboys don't expect to introduce Johnson to the local media before Monday. But sources from both clubs acknowledged on Thursday night there are no stumbling blocks now to completing a trade ostensibly agreed to weeks ago.


The deal was delayed when Galloway balked at Tampa Bay's offer of a one-year contract worth $1.25 million.


It remains to be seen, beyond the salary-cap relief each club will realize, how beneficial the trade really is for the Bucs and the Cowboys. While it would be an overstatement to suggest Johnson and Galloway are in decline, neither player is considered to be an upper-echelon wide receiver at this juncture of their respective careers. In essence, the trade is one of convenience as much as anything else.


That said, Johnson, who played for the New York Jets when the Cowboys' Bill Parcells was head coach there, should bring Dallas a possession component it did not have in its wide receiver corps. The team's top three wideouts in 2003 -- Galloway, Terry Glenn and Antonio Bryant -- are more vertical players. Johnson is still somewhat effective in the medium-range zones and could be a comforting ball-control target for Quincy Carter.


In eight seasons, Johnson, 31, has 603 receptions for 7,936 yards and 48 touchdowns. The first overall player chosen in the 1996 draft, he spent four seasons with the Jets before being traded to Tampa Bay for a pair of first-round picks in the 2000 draft. The former Southern California standout has played in 119 games, starting all but three.


As a disciplinary measure, following some off-field run-ins with coach Jon Gruden, the Bucs essentially exiled him for the final six games in 2002.


Galloway, 32, was the Seattle Seahawks' first-round choice in 1995, and moved to the Cowboys in an historic deal in 2000. Although he was designated a "franchise" player at the time, the Cowboys signed him to a seven-year, $42 million contract and, every bit as significant, compensated the Seahawks with a pair of first-round choices.


But the speedy Galloway suffered a season-ending knee injury in his first year with the Cowboys, and that augured what, in hindsight, proved a disastrous trade. Even during his three healthy seasons in Dallas, he averaged just 49 receptions, 760 yards and 3.7 scores.


In 119 career appearances, including 113 starts, Galloway has 434 receptions, 6,798 yards and 49 touchdowns.

espn.com
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