TAMPA — Evan Smith battled back from surgeries on both hips to play this season, but the Bucs informed the veteran offensive lineman Saturday of their plans to release him.
Smith, 33, joined the Bucs in 2014 as a free agent from the Packers and has appeared in 57 games with them at guard and center. He played with the second-team offense in Friday night’s 30-28 loss at Pittsburgh in the preseason opener for both teams.
By releasing Smith, which officially is expected to happen Sunday, the Bucs will save about $2 million on their salary cap.
The Bucs have at least four players injured at safety, and coach Bruce Arians said the team may have to add a player or two at that position in the next few days.
The other centers listed on the depth chart are Josh LeRibeus and Nate Trewyn. However, Cardinals free agent Earl Watford also could play center and is very familiar with Arians’ offense.