The Buccaneers released backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky and reserve running back D.J. Ware on Thursday, creating $2.35 million in salary cap space. Tampa Bay is expected to add another quarterback to back up Josh Freeman in 2013.
Tampa Bay made two roster moves on Thursday in an attempt to upgrade the team's depth. The Bucs released backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky and reserve running back D.J. Ware. Both players just played one season in Tampa Bay.
Orlovsky completed 4-of-7 passes for 51 yards in relief duty in 2012. He was signed at the urging of former Bucs quarterbacks coach Ron Turner, who coached Orlovsky in Indianapolis during the previous year. The move saves the Bucs $1.5 million in base salary.
Ware was signed at the suggestion of offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, who spent time with Ware in New York with the Giants. Ware rushed for 51 yards on 11 carries (4.6 avg.) in his lone season with the Buccaneers as the team's third down back. He also caught 14 passes for 100 yards (7.1 avg.) as the team's primary third-down back.
Ware was scheduled to earn $750,000 in base salary in 2013 and had a $100,000 workout bonus. Cutting Ware saves the Bucs $850,000.
The signing of former Rutgers and Cincinnati Bengals running back Brian Leonard made Ware expendable as he will be a strong candidate to take over third down duties. Leonard has a more accomplished NFL career, rushing for 646 yards on 174 carries (3.7 avg.) and catching 113 passes for 814 yards and one touchdown. Ware has only toted the ball 92 times for 375 yards and one touchdown, and has just 51 receptions for 352 yards.
The Buccaneers currently have five running backs on the roster, including starting halfback Doug Martin, starting fullback Erik Lorig, Michael Smith, LeGarrette Blount and Leonard. The Bucs are expected to draft a running back for depth, and Texas A&M's Christine Michael and Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell are among the players Tampa Bay is targeting.
Tampa Bay currently has just two quarterbacks on the roster – starter Josh Freeman and Adam Weber, who was on the practice squad last year. The Bucs are expected to either sign or trade for a veteran quarterback to compete for the backup job or select one in the middle or late rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Copyright © 2011 Pewter Report, PewterReport.com and Pewter Insider. All rights reserved. PewterReport.com, the official site of Pewter Report, is an independent source of news and commentary and is not affiliated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the NFL.