Quarles to be cut
The Bucs are preparing to cut ties with longtime middle linebacker Shelton Quarles.
General manager Bruce Allen said today the team will release the 10-year veteran, officially for a failed physical. But, Allen added, the decision involved multiple factors, likely including Quarles' age (35). Allen would not discuss the factors other than Quarles' health.
Quarles has been in talks with the team for weeks but was told explicitly in a recent meeting with Allen that the team had made its decision.
It does not appear to be a mutual parting of ways. Quarles has maintained for weeks that he wishes to and believes he is capable of playing this season. He also added recently that the decision would not be made by him.
The move means third-year player Barrett Ruud shoots to the top of the depth chart.
Quarles was not immediately available for comment, but he will be remembered as one of the most tenaicious players in team history. He ranks third in franchise history in tackles with 985, including five consecutive seasons with more than 100.
Physically, Quarles has battled numerous injuries in the past couple years, though they rarely prevented him from playing. He has been hampered by a hip injury and has even admitted to a number of past concussions, but it is believed that a longtime knee condition is the team's primary concern.