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Buccaneers trade J.J. Wilcox to Steelers

The Bucs needed to make space to sign T.J. Ward.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have traded safety J.J. Wilcox to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team just announced. The Bucs will receive a 2018 sixth-round draft pick and give up a 2019 seventh-round in the trade.

Wilcox was the odd man out after the Bucs signed T.J. Ward, who was released by the Denver Broncos yesterday. Ward has made three Pro Bowls and is now the best safety on the Bucs roster, but they had to make space for him—and it didn’t make much sense to pay Ward the $4+ million he’s making this year, and Wilcox nearly $4 million to sit on the bench.

The Bucs signed Wilcox from the Dallas Cowboys in free agency this year, but an injury prevented him from participating for much of the offseason. At the end of this preseason he still hadn’t earned a starting job, even though he was healthy—a bit of a disappointment, and probably part of why the Bucs decided to sign Ward.