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Bruce Carter is the Buccaneers' first free agent bust of the season

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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers seem to get a few free agency busts every single year. That's part of the NFL business, really: not free agency signing is a sure thing, as is true of draft picks. Usually we at least have to wait until the season actually starts for a bust to become apparent, and even then there's some leeway.

Not this time, though. The Bucs signed Bruce Carter to a four-year, $17 million contract this offseason and he's already lost his starting job to a fourth-round rookie. Lovie Smith said yesterday that Carter is now competing -- at strongside linebacker, meaning he has lost every shot at starting at middle linebacker already. Now that's impressive -- he hasn't even gotten to his second preseason game.

Now to be fair, some of this has to do with Kwon Alexander's extraordinary development. The coaching staff absolutely loves him, and he's been much more impressive than any fourth-rounder has a right to be. Even so, you'd expect Carter to at least grab the starting job at strongside linebacker -- but Danny Lansanah has been far too impressive for that to happen.

That means that Carter's almost certainly going to spend this season as a reserve, earning a nice $4.25 million in the process. Which is twice as much as Alexander and Lansanah are making, combined. Oh NFL free agency. You're always amusing.