Bucs Release TE Tom Crabtree, Lovie Smith Calls it a ‘Numbers Game’

Bucs tight end Tom Crabtree touchdown vs Seahawks

After selecting a tight end in the second round of the NFL Draft in Austin Seferian-Jenkins and signing free agent Brandon Myers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a decision to release veteran tight end Tom Crabtree.

The former Green Bay Packer tweeted the news Saturday. Head coach Lovie Smith later confirmed it.

“As far as Tom is concerned, we have some numbers at tight end, and it wasn’t really looking good for him. So whenever I see that maybe it’s not going to work out for a veteran, I want to give him the opportunity to get on with someone else,” Smith said after rookie minicamp practice Saturday.

“That was the case with Tom. He’s a good football player, he’s been playing good ball in the league, which does coincide a little bit with what’s going on on the field with some of the rookies.”

Crabtree signed with the Bucs last offseason after three seasons in Green Bay but struggled with injuries. He suffered a high ankle sprain during the preseason that kept him off the field until Week 6 of the regular season.

He went on to start five of seven games, catching four passes for 21 yards and a touchdown, before a torn bicep in Week 12 landed him on injured reserve.