TAMPA, Florida — The Buccaneers released two players Friday, Cameron Brate who has been with the team since he signed in 2014, and Leonard Fournette who signed with them in 2020.
During his nine-season stretch with the Bucs, Brate appeared in 126 games, totaling 273 receptions for 2,875 yards and 33 receiving touchdowns. The only tight end with higher numbers than Brate in all three categories is Ring of Honor member Jimmie Giles, the team said.
Brate was also part of the Super Bowl LV championship with Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. Signed as a free agent in 2014 out of Harvard University, Brate spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad before a late-season promotion allowed him to appear in five games.
Fournette's release was anticipated as the team began to chop down on its salary cap for 2023. The running back spent three seasons in Tampa, with some of his most notable moments in the 2020 postseason helping the Bucs to a championship win in the Super Bowl.
The Bucs signed Fournette after he was released from the Jacksonville Jaguars. Throughout his career in Tampa Bay, Fournette played in 43 games with 25 starts, collecting 3,057 yards from scrimmage and 22 scores, the team said.
Bucs General Manager Jason Licht issued a statement following the announcement of the two players' release.
"Cameron and Leonard both played large roles in our recent success," Licht siad. "Cameron was a hard worker who got everything out of his ability and ended up as one of our franchise leaders in touchdown reception. Leonard's hard running style played a big part in our offensive success during our path to Super Bowl LV. They both represented the Buccaneers with class on and off the field and we wish them success in their next stop."
The Buccaneers have been working diligently to meet the mark on the salary cap which was sitting at over $55 million when the offseason began. Recently, the team released left tackle Donovan Smith and traded Shaq Mason (G) and a seventh-round draft pick for a sixth-round pick.