Buccaneers release former first-round pick after just five games with team
Deone Bucannon lasted just five games with the Buccaneers after signing a deal with them this offseason
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had enough of the Deone Bucannon experiment, releasing the veteran linebacker after just five games with the team (per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport). Tampa Bay released Bucannon before the Buccaneers departed for London to face the Carolina Panthers.
Bucannon should have value around the league as a hybrid linebacker, but had just three tackles with the Buccaneers. The emergence of Shaquil Barrett on the outside has changed the linebacker situation in Tampa. Bucannon was a backup linebacker behind Lavonte David and Devin White. When he had an opportunity to play, Kevin Minter filled in as the No. 3 inside linebacker when White was out.
The Buccaneers signed Bucannon to a one-year contract in March, reuniting him with head coach Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles (who drafted him in the first round of the 2014 draft with the Arizona Cardinals). In his five seasons with the Cardinals, Bucannon had 404 tackles (311 solo stops), 27 tackles for loss, seven sacks, 14 quarterback hits, seven forced fumbles, two interceptions and 12 passes defensed. Bucannon's 2015 season was his best in the league, which he finished with 109 tackles, three sacks, six quarterback hits, three forced fumbles and an interception.
Bucannon is only 27 years old, so there's still a chance another NFL team can take an opportunity on him. For the Buccaneers to give up on him after five games in a system he's familiar with is telling of his play the past two years.
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