Bucs releasing Arron Sears, three others
The black Monday at One Buc Place continues, with the team also parting ways with four others, including embattled guard Arron Sears.
Also being released: offensive lineman Shawn Murphy, punter Sam Paulescu and cornerback Stoney Woodson.
Sears, by far, is the biggest name on the list. He missed all of 2009 after spending it on the non-football illness list because of undisclosed personal problems that left him uncommunicative at one point last summer. He returned to the team late in the season but was not activated.
As recently as last month, general manager Mark Dominik said with confidence the club thought Sears could be of assistance to the team in 2010 as he was working out and making an attempt at a comeback. But Sears is believed to have had a setback and now his football future is unclear, at best. It's possible he might not play again.
At the NFL owners meetings in March, Dominik said, "He wouldn't be with the organization if we didn't feel like he had the opportunity to come back and help this football team."
The following day, coach Raheem Morris said, "Arron's working and we'll have to see what Arron is when he comes back and we start our offseason. The situation was a private situation and we tried to keep it that way. . . I look forward and I'm hopeful to see where he is and to see how he's going to react when he has an opportunity."
Sometime between then and now, Sears had a setback of some kind in his efforts to get back on the field.
Sears was a second-round pick in 2007 and was immediately installed as the starting left guard. He started all 31 games in which he played.
It's believed Sears' problems are of a psychological nature, but to this day, no one associated with the team has given any details about what Sears is facing. The Times explored the situation thoroughly and learned more details but much about it remains unknown.
The Bucs' first two picks from the 2007 draft have met unfortunate fates. In January, 2007 first-round pick Gaines Adams died suddenly from cardiac arrest just months after being traded to the Bears.
On a related note, receiver Michael Clayton -- who appears exposed after the team drafted two receivers last week -- will not be among today's moves.