Raiders and Tim Brown part company
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The Raiders wanted Brown to take a secondary role in the offense, but Brown feels he can still be productive and hopes to latch on with another team. "This is a pause button, not a stop button," said Brown, who hopes to rejoin the organization in the future. "I understand that this game of football can get complicated. I'm going to be involved with this organization in the future in some way. "No matter what happens...I will retire as a Raider. Whether I go and play somewhere else this year, or if I decide to retire. I don't know what my options are going to be." Brown spent the first 16 years of his NFL career with the Raiders after being selected in the first round of the 1988 draft. He was the club's second- leading receiver last year with 52 catches for 567 yards and two touchdowns. The Raiders had a down season in 2003, posting a record of just 4-12 after reaching the Super Bowl the previous year. Brown, though, faced a diminished role this year under new Raiders head coach Norv Turner. Jerry Rice will still be the club's featured receiver, but Jerry Porter is set to move into the starting lineup and the club is also impressed with Alvis Whitted, Ronald Curry, second-year man Doug Gabriel and draft picks Carlos Francis and Johnnie Morant. After winning the Heisman Trophy in 1987 at Notre Dame, Brown became a fixture in the Raider lineup. He is third in NFL history with 1,070 receptions and second in league annals with 14,734 receiving yards. "He always held up the tradition and the history [of the Raiders]," said Raiders managing general partner Al Davis. "He was symblematic of what I still call the greatness of the Raiders." The nine-time Pro Bowl selection holds virtually every Raider receiving record and is the franchise's all-time leader in games played with 240. "It's emotionally difficult. It's a part of your life," Davis added. "Other than your family, this is your family. We've had many great players, but there are certain players you fall for. It's tough to lose him."