Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers release QB Orlovsky, RB Ware
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman likely will have someone other than Dan Orlovsky backing him up in 2013.
The Bucs cut Orlovsky and running back D.J. Ware, according to the NFL's daily personnel notice on Thursday.
Orlovsky, who joined the Bucs as a free agent during the 2012 offseason, appeared in just one game last year, completing four of seven passes for 51 yards during a late-season loss to the Saints.
The Bucs have made no secret of their desire to bring in a more formidable backup. Freeman is coming off a record-breaking season in which he threw for 27 touchdowns and 4,065 yards, but struggled down the stretch, throwing nine interceptions in the last three games.
The late release of Orlovsky could mean the Bucs are contemplating adding a quarterback during the draft, but a couple of options remain in free agency. Brady Quinn, Matt Leinart and Kellen Clemens – all under the age of 29 with starting experience – are still available on the open market, along with former Broncos backup Caleb Hanie.
Ware came to the Bucs as a free agent last offseason, also, but became expendable earlier in the week when Tampa Bay signed free agent Brian Leonard, a strong pass catcher capable of filling Ware's third-down role. Ware had 51 rushing yards and 14 catches for 100 yards last season.