Tim Brown To Stay With Oakland

Wide receiver Tim Brown passed up a chance at free agency and instead will remain with the Oakland Raiders.

Brown was signed to a new contract, Raiders coach Jon Gruden said Thursday. Terms of the pact were not disclosed.

The Raiders also re-signed Greg Biekert, the team's leading tackler last season, and guard Steve Wisniewski as well as backup quarterback Bobby Hoying.

Brown, the Raiders all-time leading receiver, could have exercised a clause in his contract allowing him to become a free agent and for a time it appeared he would.

As recently as two weeks ago, Brown said he felt unappreciated in Oakland and complained he never got so much as a pat on the back from Raiders managing general partner Al Davis.

Brown also criticized Davis for failing to resolve stadium issues that cloud the team's future in Oakland, saying a resolution is needed both for the players' peace of mind and to foster the bond between the community and the club, which hasn't had a sellout in two years.

Nevertheless, Brown, who begins his 13th season next year after joining Oakland as a first-round pick in 1988, ultimately decided to remain.

Gruden declined to address Brown's criticisms,, but added he wasn't surprised Brown decided to stay.

"I didn't listen to any of the radio broadcasts nor did I ready many of the articles," Gruden said. "Tim Brown is a guy that wants to be with this organization. He's a very loyal person and loyalty is a two-way street, the organization to the player and the player to the organization. Tim called me yesterday and told me he wanted to stay with the Raiders. The rest was easy."

The re-signing of Biekert, Oakland's defensive captain, and Wisniewski, who like Brown declined to trigger a free agency rider in his contract, also were critical to the Raiders, who went 8-8 under Gruden for the second straight season.

"I feel very confident in the direction the team is going, and obviously to have three of your team captains avoid free agency and stay, I think that says enough about where we're heading," Gruden said.

©2000 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed