TAMPA — On the brink of entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks is branching out yet again in his professional career.
The president of the Tampa Bay Storm has been hired by the NFL and the players’ union as an appeals officer. In replacing Matt Birk, now the NFL’s director of football development, Brooks will hear player appeals of on-field discipline.
“He’ll do a great job,’’ new Bucs head coach Lovie Smith said Friday, hours before Tampa Bay’s opening practice of training camp. “Whatever is in front of Derrick Brooks, he does it as well as anybody possibly can. He’s always been fair, and Derrick will bring great perspective to his new position.’’
It is expected that Brooks will continue to lead the Storm and remain in the Bay area.
After playing 14 seasons with the Bucs and leading them to their only Super Bowl title, Brooks has served as president of the Storm in the Arena Football League since 2011.
Brooks will join former NFL player and coach Ted Cottrell as the appeals officers.
“Derrick views this game with a very unique understanding as both a player and a team president,” said Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations. “His review of appeals will be informed by experience as a player and as an executive.”
When he is inducted into the Canton, Ohio, shrine of excellence Aug. 2, Brooks will join the late Lee Roy Selmon and former teammate Warren Sapp as the only Bucs in the Hall of Fame.
“Derrick was jointly selected by the players and the NFL, and we expect he will bring expertise and professionalism to his role as an arbitration officer,” said Jason Belser, the NFL Players Association’s senior director of player affairs and development. “We look forward to working with him.”
Brooks and Cottrell are jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA. As per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the fine schedule is provided to the NFLPA prior to training camp for review and approval.