The 2017 NFL season was not what many who follow the Tampa Bay Buccaneers expected. With hopes higher than they’d been in over a decade, the team finishing with a 5-11 record meant you knew changes were coming. As a result of a lackluster pass rush performance from the Bucs defense in 2017, veteran defensive end Robert Ayers had been released by the team.
Source: the Bucs have released veteran DE Robert Ayers.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 17, 2018
Ayers finished the 2017 season with just two sacks, his lowest sack total in any season since 2012. By cutting the 32-year-old Ayers now, the Bucs save themselves $6,000,000 in cap space for 2018, the last year of his contract.
In Ayers’ two seasons with the Buccaneers, he recoded 41 tackles with 8.5 sacks in 24 games played.
The release of Ayers is likely a sign that this team had to turn over a new leaf somewhere. The pass rush in Tampa Bay was the worst in the league last year and Ayers has to take some blame for that, even if he was one of their better options. Releasing their veteran at that spot is a sign of the new blood coming in.