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March 8, 2014 @ 1:09 pm
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/1 Votes

Buccaneers Release Joseph, Free Up $6 Million

Written by Scott
Reynolds
Scott Reynolds

Scott
Reynolds

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cleared an additional $6 million in salary cap space on Saturday by releasing right guard Davin Joseph. The 30-year old Joseph was an eight-year starter at right guard for the Bucs and struggled in 2013 after missing the 2012 season due to a severe knee injury.
With Tampa Bay poised to enter free agency with approximately $18.8 million worth of salary cap space, the Buccaneers cleared an additional $6 million in salary cap room with the release of right guard Davin Joseph on Saturday. The Bucs now have close to $25 million worth of salary cap room to sign free agents, including Joseph's possible replacement.

Joseph, who was in the middle of a seven-year, $53-million contract, which he signed in 2011, missed the 2012 season after suffering a severe knee injury, which included a torn ACL, in the preseason that year. Joseph returned to the starting lineup last year at right guard, but struggled mightily to regain his previous form. Complicating his rehabilitation was the fact that Joseph suffered from a staph infection in his knee last May, which contributed to his slow recovery.

The 30-year old Joseph took the news in stride as he received a phone call from new head coach Lovie Smith Saturday morning with the news.

"I got the call from Lovie this morning," Joseph said. "They said they were going in a different direction and I respect their decision. My time in Tampa was a great time and I played for some really great coaches and played alongside some really good players. I had the chance to give back to my community. Tampa will always be home for me, but for my career, I'll have to go play somewhere else. If they're cleaning house, they are cleaning house. If that's the best way for them to move forward, I wish them good luck with the transition. I'm going to find somewhere else to play. It's their job to make the Buccaneers the best team they can and they don't see me as part of their plan."

Joseph said the Bucs did not approach him about taking a pay cut in order to stay in Tampa Bay.

"I never got word of it," Joseph said. "I don't know if they talked to my agent about a salary reduction. They're going to give me the opportunity to go test the free agent market as soon as I can."

Joseph played in 98 games for the Buccaneers, starting 97 after becoming the team's first-round draft pick in 2006. The 6-foot-3, 313-pound Joseph made the Pro Bowl as an alternate in 2008 and again following the 2011 season.

The poor play of the Buccaneers offensive line was one of the biggest surprises during a 4-12 season in 2013, especially considering that Tampa Bay had the highest-paid offensive line in the NFL, totaling $31.695 million There could be other players released or asked to take pay cuts, such as center Jeremy Zuttah, who is scheduled to make $4.25 million, and left tackle Donald Penn, who is in line to earn $6.75 million in 2014.

The Buccaneers currently have three guards on the roster in left guard Carl Nicks, who missed most of the last two seasons with toe injuries and also developed MRSA in 2013, Patrick Omameh and Jason Foster, who was not on the team in 2013. Zuttah has started before at left and right guard, and Ted Larsen and Jamon Meredith, who have also played guard in Tampa Bay, are unrestricted free agents and their return to the Bucs is in question as free agency begins on Tuesday, March 11.
Last modified on Saturday, 08 March 2014 13:51
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  • avatar


    THIS IS GEORGE HICKS FROM EAST TEXAS,WELL TAMPA HAS STARTED THE BALL ROLLIN WITH RELEASE OF JOSEPH. I THINK THIS WILL BE ONE OF I SAY 6 TO 10 PIECES OF THE PUZZLE THAT THE LOVIS SMITH ERA HAS STARTED.GO BUCS.
  • avatar

    Sry but the whole o-line needs to go. Maybe Dotson stays he was the only bride spot there. Zuttah can snap the ball but after that it's 50/50 or lower with his blocking. How about Penn? Almost 7 mil in 2014 really? Just about every offensive lineman on free agency beats what we overpaid for at almost every position.
  • avatar


    I agree with this move. As others said, Davin was a class act on and off the field and a leader in the locker room. However, based on what I've seen I have a different opinion of his value than most others. Some say is dominant, some say he was dominant before the injury. I say when was he ever "dominant"? He was never physically strong enough in the run game or consistent enough in pass protection in my opinion. We could never run behind Davin on 3rd and short and be confident of getting a first down or TD. The most recent dominant seasons Bucs RB's have come from Cadillac's rookie season (Davin wasn't here), Blount's season in 2010 (Davin was hurt for the last half when Blount got hot) and Dougie's rookie season (Davin was hurt for the last half when Dougie got hot). All the time in-between we've never had a dominant running game. If Davin was a dominant guard we could just run behind him when it really counted and that rarely led to success. I wish him the best however, but he's not going to be pulling a Talib where he goes to another team and makes the Pro Bowl.
  • avatar


    The difference between Lovie and Licht or Schiano and Dominik making the call to release Davin Joseph as they evaluate the roster, is credibility. I was hoping big # 75 would be able to return to form, but I'll rely on the new regime to make those hard choices after careful study.
  • avatar

    i don't know why alot of you guys are whining.. this was an excellent move I love davin joseph, hes been nothing but class on and off the field however ray Charles could see that he is only a shadow of who he once was as a player. gentlemen we now have 25 million worth of cap space money if we unload ourselves of another waste of space/money/donald penn we'll have 31 million worth of cap space then drafting either robinson/martin/lewan in the first line would give us a solid talent at left tackle for the next 10-15 years and we could adress guard in free agency
  • avatar


    We should be getting rid of Carl Nicks. This guy is a true waste of cap!
  • avatar


    We can't have it both ways. If we keep Joseph and he don't play like a 6Mil. guard we would be screaming why did we not cut this guy! IMO it would be better to cut him now and get younger and build for the future as it will take time for a new OL to gel. The problem is trying to build a decent OL in one year. Don't see us getting Mack or a top LT as we will be outbid by a few other teams with more money.
  • avatar

    Wow, could you imagine what everyone would be saying if Schiano pulled this crap! Tampa would have imploded. Guess we are going to be the Tampa bay Bears/Vikings in no time! Be sure to give Lovey the treatment we gave Schiano. You got 2 years to win a playoff game or your gone Lovey!!
  • avatar

    Although I can understand this move (After much agonizing thought) I hope we get a replacement that's a better fit. Otherwise, bad choice.
  • avatar


    Thanks #75 for some very good years. Always loved your sound bytes in the locker room. A move I have been waiting for. Class move, letting him hit FA with everybody else. I have been listening patiently as everyone points out the poor QB pressure from the Bucs' DLine. (They're right, but there's lots of things this team can't do) Meanwhile, I've been fingers crossed that our first order of business is to re-tool the OLine. I love you Penn, but I hope your next. (Though we probably wait until after the draft to pull that trigger) It's time to get younger, waaayy more athletic, and cheaper (Thanks new CBA) up front. Dotson has great feet--and is FINE where he is at RT. Adding more athleticism to the line is just going to make the run game more dynamic, and give us more ability in the Screen game. Most of us fans don't think Glennon is the answer. He gets his shot under Center this year. What a great time to give a NEW OLine time to gel. With immobile/game manager Glennon in the pocket. Better him than a shiny new rookie franchise hopeful QB next year. Hey, that's life in the NFL.
  • avatar


    I wish Davin Joseph the best in whatever his intentions are for the future!
  • avatar


    Joseph will be missed in the locker room and is a class act. However, Nicks is going no where. If they released him the cap hit would be huge. They are trying to build cap room not destroy it. The Bucs did try to trade him, but no takers-not even for a 7th round draft pick.
  • avatar

    This is crazy. He was our best lineman. We couldn't trade him ? He will end up with Patriots blocking for Blount. Geezus. slow down Lovey.
  • avatar

    Wow not sure I agree with this move. Unless that knee or some other injury is behind this? Anyways would not be surprised to see him kicking *censored* on another team if the knee is 100%. Will miss his attitude and play for sure.
  • avatar

    Don't be surprised if Davin finds a soft market that the Bucs don't resign him.
  • avatar


    I am sure that the medical staff of the Bucs which is still the same, told Liecht and Smith what was his medical status and could he recover back to his 2011 form.
  • avatar


    Thank you Mr. Joseph for all your hard work and dedication over the years. You will be missed. A class act.
  • avatar


    I wish him the very best. He is a real class guy.
  • avatar


    If Davin cannot regain his former form this was a good move to open up cap space to replace him, but if Davin signs with another team and makes the Pro Bowl I will be disappointed we did not wait to see how he does this Preseason before releasing him. Wish we could have at least tried to trade him for our lost picks before this. Davin will be remembered for both his past accomplishments here on and off the field, and for his gracious exit. Super to hear his home will be in Tampa when he retires! Best of luck Davin and thanks for your many accomplishments as a Buc.
  • avatar


    Have read that Tedford likes a power running game with pulling guards, something that Joseph seemed ill-fitted for at this stage. Would assume Bucs have found a replacement, just can't announce it until Tuesday. Agree that Joseph was great in the community, but doubt he's as irreplaceable as some think.
  • avatar

    ^^^^ Agreed. And I knew this was coming so to me, this is no surprise. It frees up cap space and as much as davin means in the community and his ability to play, he never stayed healthy and wasnt that great in pass protection. I believe that Penn is next and i wouldnt be surprised if nicks follows.
  • avatar

    DISLIKE. We invested far too much in davin as far as a 1st round pick and big money contract. No one expected him to come back as the best guard in the game after his injury, with that said I feel that he earned a second chance to regain his physically imposing demeanor. He was a leader in the community and the locker room for the bucs and he will be badly missed. I would have cut Nicks before Joseph, no free agent guard will be able to fill the void left by davin's release. Good luck to you, I hope that returning to Tampa isn't out of the question
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