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Tampa releases a couple of their veterans like Brooks and Dunn


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By ROY CUMMINGS | The Tampa Tribune

Published: February 25, 2009

Updated: 43 min. ago

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TAMPA - In a sweeping move designed to give their younger players a chance to play, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday released five veterans including linebacker Derrick Brooks.

Also let go were linebacker Cato June, wide receivers Joey Galloway and Ike Hilliard, and running back Warrick Dunn.

"We did this with the idea of giving our younger players a chance to play,'' Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said.

Dominik will meet the media later today at One Buc Place to discuss the moves in detail.

An 11-time Pro Bowler, Brooks, 35, was the unquestioned leader of the Bucs defense, which consistently set the standard for excellence in the NFL over the past 12 years.

He struggled near the end of last season but that was after a hamstring strain slowed him and limited his ability to play at the level he had become accustomed to.

June, who will turn 30 later this year, came to the Bucs as a free agent before the start of the 2007 season and has manned their strongside linebackers spot ever since.

Galloway, 37, is the only receiver in Bucs history to have three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons but he spent most of last year watching from the sideline as Antonio Bryant emerged as the team's top receiver.

Hilliard, 32, has been one of the Bucs most consistent pass catchers over the last four seasons.

Dunn, 34, returned to the Bucs last season after a six-year stay in Atlanta but he struggled when he was forced to fill the role of the starter after Earnest Graham went down.

It is not yet known who stands to benefit from the releases or whether the Bucs will pursue replacements through free agency, which starts tomorrow at midnight.

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