Coming as no surprise, after one disappointing season the Buccaneers have released left tackle Anthony Collins.
Collins was signed as a free agent from the Bengals last March and was a cornerstone of overhaul of the Bucs offensive line. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, Collins was part of an offensive line that underperformed all year, giving up 52 sacks and contributed to Tampa Bay’s poor offensive rankings. The Bucs finished the season ranked 30th in the NFL in total offense (25th passing, 29th rushing). The Bucs finished 2014 with a 2-14 record.
Signed on the opening day of the 2014 free agency period, Collins and Tampa Bay agreed to a five-year, $30 million deal with $9 million guaranteed. The Buccaneers will take a $3 million dead cap hit in 2015 after releasing Collins on Tuesday, but will also add $3 million to their available salary cap.
Collins went into camp as the undisputed started and played well at times early in the season, but struggled with consistency. Collins also injured his elbow prior to Tampa Bay’s game against the Lions and ended up missing the final six games, including the last four as a healthy scratch.
Tampa Bay announced late last season that right tackle Demar Dotson would replace Collins at left tackle, and played the final three weeks in that position. It is thought Dotson will head into training camp No. 1 on the depth chart at left tackle and the Bucs could add depth or a starting caliber player to challenge Dotson in free agency and/or the upcoming NFL Draft.
The Buccaneers were rumored to be looking at some offensive linemen in free agency, but many of the top targets have signed elsewhere. Tampa Bay will still be on the look out for additional depth in free agency and will also most likely address the position in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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