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Bucs sign former Giants WR Hilliard

TAMPA, Fla. (May 6, 2005) -- Former New York Giants receiver Ike Hilliard signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Hilliard, a former University of Florida star, started 92 of 98 games he played for the Giants after getting drafted No. 7 overall in 1997. He has 368 career receptions for 4,630 yards and 27 touchdowns.

"Ike has proven what he can do in this league, and we are excited to have him here," Bucs coach Jon Gruden said. "He is a versatile player, and we expect him to help us. He is a guy that we are really going to lean on."

Hilliard started 15 of 16 games for the Giants last season, finishing with 49 catches for 437 yards but no TDs. His best season was 1999, when he caught 72 passes for 996 yards and three TDs.

At Florida, Hilliard helped the Gators win the 1996 national title. He also played in one Super Bowl with the Giants. "I just want to come in and do whatever it takes to help this football team win and just try and be a productive football player," Hilliard said.

"I am a year removed from learning a new system in New York. I can come down here and learn another system and try and do what I can to get as comfortable as I can possibly be in this offense and do whatever is asked of me as a teammate."

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