The Bucs' youth movement continues as the team is expected to release DT Chris Hovan just days after drafting two DTs – Gerald McCoy and Brian Price – in the first two rounds of the draft. Hovan, who will turn 32 in May, was scheduled to make $4 million in 2010. NFL.com is reporting the Bucs will also cut FB B.J. Askew.
Tampa Bay is expected to release 11-year veteran nose tackle Chris Hovan on Monday, and that should come as no surprise as the Bucs spent their first two selections in the 2010 NFL Draft on Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price. McCoy is expected to play the three-technique tackle spot in Tampa Bay while Price and last year's third-round pick, Roy Miller, will be sharing playing time at nose tackle this year.
Hovan is scheduled to earn $4 million in base salary this year, which the team deems to be too much for an aging backup player whose skills are in decline.
The Bucs wanted to get bigger, younger and more talented at the defensive tackle position, which was considered a big weakness last year with Hovan and Ryan Sims in the starting lineup. The Bucs' run defense ranked 32nd in the NFL and the defensive tackle position as a whole generated 3.5 sacks with Miller posting two of those during his rookie season. Hovan seemed to wear down late in games and towards the end of the season, and posted only 57 tackles, which was the lowest of any year in Tampa Bay.
Hovan, a former first-round pick from Minnesota in 2000, fell out of favor with the Vikings and was released in 2005. He was signed by the Bucs that year and given a chance to rehabilitate his floundering NFL career. The Cleveland, Ohio native did just that, recording 64 tackles in his first season in Tampa Bay and helping the team achieve the NFL's number one-ranked defense in 2005.
In 2006, Hovan notched a career-high 78 tackles and two sacks before surpassing that mark with a personal-best 95 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 2007 when Tampa Bay's defense was again the class of the NFL. Hovan has posted 363 career tackles and five sacks in his five seasons with the Buccaneers.
Hovan, a three-time team captain, was known for his work ethic, high motor, leadership and community service in Tampa Bay.
Aside from McCoy, Price and Miller, the Bucs also have Ryan Sims and Dre Moore on their roster at the defensive tackle position.
NFL.com is also reporting that the Bucs will be releasing veteran fullback B.J. Askew today in addition to Hovan. Askew joined the Bucs in 2007 after spending his first four seasons with the New York Jets. He rushed eight times for 14 yards and scored two touchdowns during his Buccaneers career, in addition to catching 33 passes for 244 yards.
Askew, who will turn 30 in August, was scheduled to make $875,000 in 2010.
The Bucs currently have Chris Pressley on the roster and he is expected to be the starter in 2010. Earnest Graham can also play fullback and did so for the majority of the 2009 season.
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