Bucs Cut Wunsch, 12 Others

August 25 – The Tampa Bay made its first round of roster cuts on Sunday when the team released 13 players. Bucs six-year right tackle Jerry Wunsch was among the players cut, which was a move anticipated by Pewter Report for weeks. The Buccaneers must cut two more players by 4:00 p.m. Tuesday in order to get its roster down the NFL-mandated limit of 65. Tampa Bay does may, however, keep as many as 72 players since they have seven NFL Europe exemptions.

The first wave of Tampa Bay roster cuts took place on Sunday. The Buccaneers released 13 players, which trimmed the team's roster to 74 players. Among the casualties was right tackle Jerry Wunsch, who the team selected in the second round of the 1997 NFL Draft.

Pewter Report and PewterReport.com were among the first to report the possibility of Wunsch's release a few weeks ago. There were a series of events that suggested Wunsch wouldn't remain in Tampa Bay much longer. He lost his starting job to second-year tackle Kenyatta Walker, who is much more athletic and a much better pass protector, in the beginning of training camp. He had an inconsistent training camp and poor performances in the Bucs' first two preseason games against Miami and Jacksonville. Tampa Bay traded a seventh-round pick for tackle/guard Cornell Green last week, which also indicated Wunsch probably wasn't going to stick around.

Wunsch dressed, but didn't play against Washington on Saturday night, which made it quite clear that his days as a Buccaneer were numbered. The fact that Wunsch had a salary cap value of $1.79 million certainly didn't help his cause, either.

Tampa Bay released the following 13 players on Sunday:

CB Markese Fitzgerald

WR E.G. Green

WR Darryl Daniel

G Shane Grice

T Brian Gruber

WR Eddie Hardaway

LB Chris Jones

P David Leaverton

RB Dicenzo Miller

TE Mike Roberg

S Glenn Sumter

LB Jamal White

RT Jerry Wunsch

Tampa Bay must release two more players by 4 p.m. Tuesday in order to get its roster down to the NFL-mandated limit of 65. But the Bucs are allowed to keep as many as 72 players since they have seven NFL Europe exemptions.

The seven exempted players are cornerback Corey Ivy, wide receiver Jermale Kelly, linebacker Tony Ortiz, defensive end Cedric Pittman, safety Dwayne Stukes and DE Ron Warner. Tampa Bay earned an extra exemption tag during the offseason, which they placed on rookie running back Travis Stephens, who was the team's fourth-round draft selection in April.

The Bucs will play its final preseason game at Houston on Friday night. Tampa Bay will have to trim its roster to a maximum of 53 players by Sunday, September 1.

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