On Friday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers began trimming down their roster in order to inch closer to the 53-man limit by Saturday's 4 p.m. ET deadline.
Among Friday's cuts was kicker Connor Barth, who holds the title of being the most accurate kicker in the team's history. However, Barth missed the entire 2013 season with a torn Achilles tendon, and was about to enter his second year of a hefty four-year contract that he signed.
"We appreciate everything Connor has done for the Buccaneers on and off the field over these past five years, but this decision was based on the best interests of our team moving forward," head coach Lovie Smith said in a statement released by the team.
The Buccaneers likely decided that Barth was going to be too expensive to keep on the roster, instead opting to go with rookie kicker Patrick Murray, who undoubtedly impressed the coaching staff in the preseason.
Along with Barth, guard Jamon Meredith, who was a frequent starter for the Buccaneers last season, was also cut in a somewhat surprising move. Meredith did struggle in the preseason, even losing his starting job, but the Buccaneers are not exactly deep on the offensive line, so it is somewhat surprising the hear that the coaching staff did not consider Meredith one of the top 53 players on the roster. Meredith's release could also be foreshadowing for another transaction to come later.
The Buccaneers have a few more cuts to make before the deadline Saturday.