The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were heavily criticized this offseason for a number of moves, booting former star players and other core performers off the team because they didn't fit Greg Schiano's new culture. Tight end Kellen Winslow was traded to the Seattle Seahawks for peanuts, got a seventh-round pick from the Chicago Bears for defensive tackle Brian Price and simply cut receiver Dezmon Briscoe and safety Tanard Jackson. Those four players were important cogs for the old Buccaneers team: three of the four were starters, and except for Winslow they were all young and promising players. The foursome could have been an important part of the team's future - or so fans thought.
As it turns out, these players had too many problems to be reliable members of the team going forward. Kellen Winslow Jr was released by the Seattle Seahawks yesterday, supposedly because he refused to take a pay cut. Winslow was too expensive and not good enough to make the Seahawks' roster. Tanard Jackson was caught doing drugs for a fourth time, earning him yet another indefinite suspension. And the third piece of evidence: Brian Price made the Bears' 53-man roster, but he's likely to be released after they sign Amobi Okoye - another Buccaneers release. Price isn't good enough to make a big impact, in large part because of his injury issues.
Of course, not every release appears to have been a good decision. Specifically, Dezmon Briscoe made the Redskins' roster and had a pretty good preseason, with 6 catches for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Bucs cut him after he failed to make it through the opening conditioning test of training camp. In addition, there were reports that the Bucs didn't try to trade Briscoe, although they could have gotten a fifth-round draft pick. For Winslow, they could have received a sixth-round draft pick - had they traded him to the Patriots, according to Peter King at least. Instead, they are now left with nothing. Yes - nothing. The Bucs got a conditional pick from the Seahawks - and the condition was that Winslow was on the Seahawks' Week 1 roster, or so reports ESPN.
Still, these releases do not appear to have been as disastrous as they appeared to be at first sight. Only one of these players will likely contribute for their new club this year. Of course, the fact that the Bucs got just one seventh-round pick in return for these four players is a problem. Overall, though, the Bucs appear to have made the right decisions. Whether it's the salary, the injuries or the weed - the players didn't make it with their new club.