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.

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.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at:
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3 years ago

Must be going after V Curry?

Reply to  morgan1672
3 years ago

You are right sir.

3 years ago

It’s now official we definitely have the worst defensive line in NFL history. Lmbo Can we sign suh already!???

3 years ago

What new blood? Not surprised he was released but figured they might fortify the position with more than Unrein and Clarke before moving on from him. Curious if another addition is coming.

Reply to  FLBoy84
3 years ago

Understand he did have a roster bonus coming up next week, so the timing makes sense.

3 years ago

I would cut Gholston for the same reasons. We just signed the other day a player that is exactly like him, so why not save some Millions for something else?

Reply to  Horse
3 years ago

Still may happen, though I’d rather have Gholston as a rotational DE that some UDFA.

Buc 1976
3 years ago

I wish you well Robert Ayers.
If injuries happen could get a call but not at 6 million.

3 years ago

Good. I never liked the signing in the first place.

Freeman Strickland
3 years ago

This looks like a mistake. Unless they are sure they can get Chubb, they should try to get Ayers back.