The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to make tough roster decisions in an attempt to manage their tough salary cap situation heading into the 2023 NFL season.
Unfortunately, some of those tough decisions include two key offensive contributors being formally released by the Buccaneers on March 17.
As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have officially released running back Leonard Fournette and tight end Cameron Brate.
Bucs GM Jason Licht Releases An Official Statement
After the organization officially released both players, Bucs General Manager Jason Licht released an official statement detailing how important they were to the success of the team.
The statement from Jason Licht reads, “Cameron and Leonard both played large roles in our recent success. Cameron was an exceptionally hard worker who got everything out of his ability and ended up as one of the franchise leaders in touchdown receptions. Leonard’s hard running style played a big part in our offensive success during our path to Super Bowl LV. They both represented the Buccaneers with class on and off the field and we wish them success in their next stop.”
Brate spent nine seasons with the Bucs, registering 273 receptions, 2,857 receiving yards and 33 touchdowns during his tenure with the Buccaneers. His career year came in 2016 when he caught 57 passes for 660 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Brate went to Instagram to show his gratitude to the Buccaneer fans.
Brate’s post read, “Forever grateful for my time with the Buccaneers. Thank you to everyone for making Tampa Bay home. Time for me to walk the plank. Arghhh.”
As for Fournette, scored 17 touchdowns over his three seasons as a member of the Bucs, but most fans will remember his fantastic performances during their run to the Super Bowl in the 2020 NFL postseason.
During that four-game span, Fournette scored 3 touchdowns and topped the 100-yard mark from scrimmage in three games.
His heroics in that postseason run even earned him the nickname ‘Lombardi Lenny’ after the Bucs defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl LV.
The Buccaneers saved over $5 million dollars against the salary cap by releasing both players.
The Bucs Have Parted Ways with Many Veterans This Offseason
Leonard Fournette and Cameron Brate aren’t the only veteran members of the Bucs to be released this offseason.
As the Buccaneers parted ways with starting left tackle Donovan Smith after eight seasons with the team back on March 7.
Bucs General Manager Jason Licht also released a statement regarding the decision to release Smith.
Licht’s statement read, “I want to thank Donovan for all that he has done for the Buccaneers on and off the field over the past eight seasons. He stepped in as our starter at left tackle in 2015 and his durability and dependability at one of the most important positions in football played a significant role in our offensive success during his time here.”
Licht wasn’t kidding when he complimented Smith’s availability, seeing that Smith started 131 games over an eight-year span.
In addition to the release of Smith, the Bucs also traded away another starter along the offensive line this offseason, Shaq Mason, to the Houston Texans in return for a sixth-round pick.
As the Buccaneers continue to retool the roster after the retirement of quarterback Tom Brady.