Bucs Clear Roughly $12 Million In Cap Space

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released five veterans who were entering the final year of their contracts--LB Derrick Brooks, RB Warrick Dunn, LB Cato June, WR Joey Galloway and WR Ike Hilliard. Scout.com's Ed Thompson breaks down the big savings in Tampa Bay.

Reports out of Tampa Bay indicate that the team has terminated the contracts of five veteran players who were all entering the final year of their contracts. With their release, the Buccaneers will gain roughly $12 million in cap space prior to the start of free agency.

According to information provided to Scout.com, here's how the cap savings break down by player:

LB Derrick Brooks will cost the team $750,000 in cap space this season, but they come out way ahead since they'll be able to invest his $3 million salary elsewhere.

RB Warrick Dunn has just $500,000 left in prorated money on his deal. Tampa Bay will save $2 million in salary by releasing the 12-year veteran.

LB Cato June, who was expected to step into Brooks' spot when he retired or left the team, was due a $2 million roster bonus this season in addition to his $1 million salary. With just $667,000 in prorated money left on his deal, the Bucs will pocket the $3 million savings.

WR Ike Hilliard was set to receive a $200,000 roster bonus in addition to his $1 million base salary, but the team opted to take a $125,000 cap hit rather than continue to invest in the 12-year veteran who they added to their roster back in 2005.

WR Joey Galloway would have hit the team's cap for $3.53 million in 2009, but with his release, it's estimated that the team will save between $2.1 to $2.3 million.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter for NFL updates and insights. And you can contact him by email through this link.

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