27 December 2015: Chicago Bears wide receiver Eddie Royal (19) is tackled by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Bruce Carter (50) during the NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire)
As free agency approaches, fans get ready to see what their team will do to bring in new talent that hopefully helps them compete for the postseason.
But it isn’t only about adding players.
PewterReport.com can confirm that the Buccaneers will release linebacker Bruce Carter on Monday, with free agency on the horizon. Releasing the former Cowboy now will allow Carter an opportunity to enter free agency prior to it opening on Wednesday.
The move will also save the Buccaneers $4.25 million ($3.5 million base, $750,000 roster bonus) in 2016. The contract(four-year, $17 million) was also set up with just the first year of salary guaranteed, and the Bucs will not have any dead cap money.
The move comes as a bit of surprise as the Bucs won’t tender former strong side linebacker starter Danny Lansanah, who is a restricted free agent, and many thought Carter would slide into that role with Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David firmly established as starters at the other two positions. But it appears the Bucs front office and defensive coaching staff didn’t feel Carter warranted the $4.25 million he would have earned this upcoming season.
Carter was the only Bucs free agent signed last March who was offered a multi-year deal. Tampa Bay expected Carter to fill the void at middle linebacker that had been occupied by Mason Foster since 2011, but an outstanding series of mini-camps last spring leading into training camp, firmly entrenched Alexander as the Bucs future at the Mike position.
Carter played sparingly until Alexander was suspended the final four games of the 2015 season for violation of the leagues policy on performance enhancing substances. Carter started three games and totaled 47 tackles, two sacks and two pass breakups.
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, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. 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
OTC reports Buc cap space at 49.46mil. If/when Carter is cut, cap space will rise to 53.75mil (49.46 + 4.25). Carter’s salary is 3.25mil, but his cap number if cut pre-June 1 is 4.25mil.
If OG Logan Mankins retires Monday as I expect he will or he would have already announced his return by now. Kevin Pamphile is heir apparent and the Bucs are already looking at guard depth, ie, OG Nate Chandler.
If/when Mankins retires cap space will go to 60.75mil (53.75 + 7.00). Mankins salary is 6.75mil, but his cap number is 7.00mil.
It is entirely possible for the Bucs to push cap space into the stratosphere with these additional cuts:
Alteraun Verner 6.75mil (probably gets another chance)
Gosder Cherilus 4.5mil (either him or Demar Dotson)
Evan smith 2.5mil (low salary will probably keep for depth)
George Johnson 2.00mil
Brandon Meyers 1.75mil
Major Wright 1.75mil
Garrett Gilkey .675mil
Kourtnei Brown .525mil
Total Additional Cap Savings 20.45mil
Projected Cap Space 60.75mil + Add’l Cap Savings 20.45mil = 81.20mil
The 60 mil is plenty of cap space to upgrade the roster in FA. No need to clean house.
Not suggesting that the Bucs clean house.These are all players that had question marks under the previous administration. Maybe the new administration will see it differently. While I had the numbers at OTC, I simply reported what would happen to cap space if they were cut. Trust me though, some on that list is not going to make it. Bucs decision!
BTW, Rick Stroud just confirmed that Logan Mankins retired as I expected. The 60.75mil in cap space is now confirmed.
Which gives you plenty to upgrade your pass rush, secondary, etc.
But the Bucs are not going after any high priced free agents. We dont need to gut the roster but I can see Licht purging the roster of all of “Lovies guys”
I never saw Carter working out as a MLB in a Tampa 2 defense. Luckily we got K. Alexander to make up for that lack of foresight.
This is all fine, but it comes down to how they will spend it. What moves can this money bring to help this team get to the playoffs. Fill the big holes at DE and in the secondary. Get a 3rd W/R for Jamies and make the right decision at RB.
I hope we push for T Benjamin. We have plenty of cap and I feel he would be a great fit in the offense. He would be a fantastic #3 WR with Evans and Jackson. He also would instantly upgrade our return game. Then, when VJax retires next year, he would make a great #2 WR with Evans and hopefully by then AfroThunder will be ready to assume the #3 spot! Also gives Bell the chance to work in slowly this year and not have so much pressure on him to fill the #3 role. Then sprinkle in some good value FA’s and with a good draft, we could be greatly improved.
So Verner makes 6.75 mil and Cherilous a mediocre at best gets 4.5 mil and I hear fellow Bucs fans don’t want to spend 8 mil on the second best rb in the league last yr who averaged 4.9 yds a carry and 1,400 yds? Yes, that makes sense, hilarious
Yippee, more cap money that won’t be spent on FA’s. I guess if your team doesn’t have very many good players to sign to big contracts, you end up with a lot of cap space. I can see not wanting to get stuck with dead cap money, but they still could afford to give a FA (or more) a big one year prove it deal that has no long term impact.
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