The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have cut some costs and some depth by releasing Dan Orlovsky and Danny Ware today, per reports. The Buccaneers will reportedly save a decent chunk of cash with the releases. Here is the tweet that broke the news:
Buccaneers terminated the contracts of QB Dan Orlovsky & RB Danny Ware, per the league’s personnel notice. Saves $2.35M in cash & cap space
— Brian McIntyre (@brian_mcintyre) April 4, 2013
So that’s $2.35 million in cap space for a backup quarterback who was not the “competition” needed to compete with Josh Freeman, and a running back who was pressed into service by the lack of production from LeGarrette Blount. The decision seems fairly easy to make for the Buccaneers, who now have more money to spend on potentially extending the contracts of Mike Williams, and Darrelle Revis (should he be acquired).
How are these players replaced? Ware’s position on the depth chart was going to be in jeopardy anyways, with Brian Leonard and Michael Smith likely pressing him for a roster spot this offseason, and the possibility of a LeGarrette Blount return totally shutting him out. The Buccaneers are also very interested in some middle round running back prospects, as they seek out a change of pace back who can help keep Doug Martin fresh.
The interesting replacement will be the player who takes the backup quarterback position. A few quarterbacks have moved around this offseason, leaving the veteran options available at a minimum. This could mean the Buccaneers are planning to bring in a remaining veteran, like Brady Quinn or Matt Leinart. It could also mean they plan to attack the need during the draft, and select a middle to late round quarterback prospect to develop behind Josh Freeman. Adam Weber, the only other QB currently on the roster, will likely remain an emergency quarterback until a second new signal caller is brought in.
This news was not earth-shaking, but it does put an interesting twist on the Buccaneers’ offseason plans. The release of Ware implies there is action yet to come at the running back position, and the release of Orlovsky means the Buccaneers are serious when they say they want competition at every position. We’ll keep you updated as the Bucs continue to navigate the offseason and the path to the NFL Draft.