Bruce Carter Released by Buccaneers: Latest Details, Comments, Reaction

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2016

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Bruce Carter (50) celebrates after a Dallas Cowboys missed field-goal attempt during the first half of an NFL football game in Tampa, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers formally announced the release of linebacker Bruce Carter on Tuesday just one year after he inked a four-year, $17 million deal that included $4.25 million guaranteed. 

According to Pro Football Talk's Josh Alper, the move is expected to save the Bucs $4.25 million in cash and cap space. 

During his lone season in Tampa, Carter tallied 39 total tackles and two sacks as he was quickly supplanted by rookie linebacker Kwon Alexander.    

Carter had the look of a rising talent after posting 96 tackles in 2013 and 82 in 2014 as a piece of the Dallas Cowboys defense, but Tampa Bay's coaching staff didn't trust him to hold down the interior of the team's defense. 

Bruce Carter's Stats by Season
SeasonTotal TacklesINTPasses Defended
2011801
20127002
20139603
201482511
20153902
Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com

Carter notched just three starts over the course of 14 appearances, and he only found his way into the starting lineup after Alexander was suspended four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. 

However, Carter remained upbeat despite his demotion. 

"I love football," Carter said in December, per ESPN.com's Rick Brown. "I can't let my situation or whatever it may be get me down. I have to stay upbeat, stay positive. I've got a great camp around me, great teammates. You have to stay positive. You never know when your opportunity will come."

Now he'll need to seek out his next opportunity with free agency set to officially start Wednesday. 

Carter's performance in Dallas—especially as a defender in coverage throughout the 2014 season—indicated he can be a stable presence on the inside, but based on how his stock tumbled last season, the 28-year-old may need to sign a prove-it deal in order to eventually snag another long-term commitment. 

 

Contract information courtesy of Spotrac.com