According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released defensive tackle John McCargo. The former first-round pick for the Buffalo Bills was signed late last season after injuries had devastated the Bucs' group of defensive tackles. Surprisingly, McCargo flashed some disruptive ability at times, and I expected him to compete for playing time at nose tackle this season. Unfortunately, the Bucs did not appear to see it that way, and they released the big nose tackle.
That's not good news for the Bucs' defensive tackle depth, which at the moment consists of Gerald McCoy, Brian Price, Amobi Okoye, Roy Miller, Frank Okam and undrafted rookie Donte'e Nicholls. The team is especially limited at nose tackle, as Brian Price is still a giant question mark. Price never fully recovered from his offseason surgery last season, and only flashed his talent during the season. Whether he will ever fully recover from his hip injuries is still up in the air. Meanwhile, neither Roy Miller nor Frank McCargo consistently played well in 2011, although Miller had a few good games against the run late last season.
The Bucs need to find a quality defensive tackle rotation this year. Gerald McCoy has shown truly dominant skills, but he needs to stay healthy. Brian Price has flashed massive talent, but needs to become a consistent player. Amobi Okoye had a good season as a backup last year, and the Bucs need him to continue on that route. And the Bucs must get more out of their backup nosetackle than they did last year. And now, they have one less player to get that play from.