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Tampa Bay Buccaneers release center Jeff Faine

TAMPA — The Bucs bid farewell to former captain Jeff Faine, their starting center the past four seasons.

Faine was released Wednesday, the same day the team acquired All-Pro guard Carl Nicks, who will move to left guard while Jeremy Zuttah — signed to a four-year deal last week — will replace Faine at center.

When he signed with the Bucs in 2008, Faine was the NFL's highest-paid center at six years, $37.5 million. He had two seasons remaining on the deal and was slated to make $5.925 million in base salary in the fall. His release creates additional cap room after the club spent roughly $30 million in cap space in the first 24 hours of free agency.

"The move is bittersweet, but I leave in good health, excited and energized for my next opportunity," Faine, 30, said in a statement.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers release center Jeff Faine 03/14/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:42am]

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