The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released Davin Joseph, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. Davin Joseph had a horrible season last year, coming off patellar tendon surgery, and was due to make $6 million in non-guaranteed salary this year. Releasing him brings the Bucs' cap space up to approximately $25 million, saving them all of his salary.
Stroud also reports that the Bucs tried to trade Joseph, confirming an earlier report by Dan Pompei. As I wrote when that report came out, no team was likely willing to trade for a guard with a history of knee injuries, coming off one of the worst seasons a starting NFL guard has had in recent years.
Joseph was the Bucs' first-round pick in the 2006 NFL draft, and the only Pro Bowler to be drafted under general manager Bruce Allen. He has started 99 games over his career, but missed the 2012 season due to a patellar tendon injury and suffered another knee injury in 2010. Joseph's play hasn't always been great, but he did make the Pro Bowl in 2008 and 2011 and was one of the few dependable players on offense for the Buccaneers over the past decade.
With Joseph's release, the Buccaneers are almost certain to target one or two starting guards in free agency. The Bucs have made it clear that rebuilding their offensive line is a priority, and with left guard Carl Nicks' future in doubt as well, they need major help along the interior. Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz would be two sensible targets for the Buccaneers, but several other options should be available as well.