The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will release middle linebacker Shelton Quarles before the 2007 NFL Draft is held this weekend.

Bucs general manager Bruce Allen made that announcement Tuesday during a press conference held at One Buccaneer Place. 

Quarles, who turns 36 in September, was due a $1 million roster bonus on May 1 and was scheduled to have a $4.075 million salary cap value in 2007.

By releasing Quarles, the Bucs will create just over $3 million in cap room.

Quarles spent the last few months undergoing medical tests to determine his playing health for the 2007 season.

It was believed that Quarles was having several previous injuries evaluated,and Allen said Tuesday that Quarles failed his physical with the team.

The Buccaneers invested a 2005 second-round draft pick on Barrett Ruud, who has spent his first two seasons in the pros grooming behind Quarles.

Quarles, who played in the CFL before joining the Buccaneers in 1997, has been part of a Tampa Bay defense that has finished nine of the past 10 seasons ranked in the top 10. In two of those seasons, the Bucs defense ranked No. 1 overall.

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Quarles has started 113 of the 148 career games he's played in. Quarles has proven to be a versatile player, playing at both strongside and middle linebacker.

Last season, Quarles ranked second on the team in tackles with 136 despite missing four contests due to injury.

In 2005, Quarles recorded a team- and career-high 196 tackles. His only Pro Bowl berth came the same year he helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win their first Super Bowl.

Quarles has recorded 985 career tackles, four interceptions, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and 28 passes defensed during his NFL career.

While he will not play for Tampa Bay again, there's a chance Quarles took take a job with the Buccaneers at a later date. will have more on this story thoughout the day. 

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