TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released defensive tackles Amobi Okoye and Frank Okam during the final round of mandatory cuts before the start of the regular season.
The team announced Friday night that Okoye, a former first-round pick of the Houston Texans who played for the Chicago Bears last year, had reached an injury settlement. Okam was a fifth-year pro who appeared in 12 games over the past two seasons.
Okoye signed a one-year, $2 million contract during the offseason and had arthroscopic knee surgery in June. Releasing him and Okam — along with a July trade that sent third-year pro Brian Price to the Bears — leaves first-year coach Greg Schiano without much experienced depth on the defensive line.
Receivers Jordan Shipley, signed late in training camp after being released by Cincinnati, was among 21 players who were waived.
Safeties Larry Asante and Sean Baker, receivers Tiquan Underwood and Landon Cox, linebackers Rennie Curran and Jacob Cutrera, tight ends Drake Dunsmore and Zack Pianalto, kicker Kai Forbath, tackle Jermarcus Hardrick, running backs Mossis Madu and Robert Hughes, fullback Cody Johnson, defensive tackles Jordan Nix and Teryl White, center Moe Petrus, quarterback Brett Ratliff, cornerback James Rogers and defensive lineman E.J. Wilson were waived.
Guard Desmond Wynn was waived injured.
Schiano is making the transition to the NFL after spending the past 11 seasons at Rutgers. Although trimming the roster to 75 and then 53 players was a new experience for him as a head coach, he previously had been exposed to the process as an assistant.
"There's nothing fun about it, there's nothing happy about it but it's part of the business. It's part of pro football. I think everybody understands that when they get into it," Schiano said earlier in the week .
"I've been very clear that we have to find the best 53 guys for the Buccaneers. That may not be the best 53 guys for some other team but the best for this team. I made it clear what my expectations were and what my criteria were to be part of that 53."