The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have traded away starting center Jeremy Zuttah, to the Baltimore Ravens for a fifth-round draft pick in 2015, both teams announced Sunday afternoon.
Zuttah was scheduled to make $4.5 million in 2014, which would have made him the fifth-highest paid center in the league.
The move frees up $4.5 million in cap space and helps the Bucs complete an offensive line overhaul that included the departures of two former Pro Bowlers — starting left tackle Donald Penn and right guard Davin Joseph.
Wanted to thank all the Bucs fans for the support these past 6 years. I’ll never forget my time there! #itsabucslife
— Jeremy Zuttah(@JZutt7176) March 24, 2014
Zuttah started 32 games over the last two seasons, recording 76 starts in 90 career games for the Bucs. He primarily lined up as the team’s starting center, although he also played guard throughout his six seasons in Tampa.
The Bucs had been rumored to have Zuttah on the trading block in recent weeks. Those rumors intensified when the team signed former Packers starting center and guard Evan Dietrich-Smith. The team also re-signed Jamon Meredith to a two-year deal.
That leaves starting left guard Carl Nicks and right tackle Demar Dotson as the only remaining members of the team’s starting offensive line last season. Nicks is coming off a bout with MRSA as well as a torn plantar plate in his toe. Meredith could line up opposite of him.
The team also signed former Browns guard Oniel Cousins last week.
In Baltimore, Zuttah can provide immediate relief to an offensive line that struggled last year, allowing 48 sacks — fifth most in the league. He is expected to play center.
Zuttah currently has two years left on a four-year, $17.09 million contract that was signed in 2012.