Greg Schiano is tight with Patriots coach Bill Belichick. It's clear that Schiano believes in one of Belichick's personnel maxims: It's better to release an aging player a year too early than it is too hang on one year too long.
The Bucs are cutting ties with Kellen Winslow at just the right time.
We've heard in a few places that it's unfair that the Bucs are cutting Winslow just because he skipped the start of OTAs. Winslow hinted at it himself.
Winslow said Bucs were upset he wasn't working out with them this offseason. Thinks he has a lot left. Caught 75 for 763 last year.â Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) May 21, 2012
The reality is that the Bucs are cutting Winslow because he's no longer a difference maker and he's not cheap. They would have dealt with him skipping practices if they saw him as a core piece.
Winslow averaged 10.2 yards-per-catch last year. He has undergone annual knee surgeries and can barely practice any more. Yes, he's a warrior. He finds a way to produce despite his injury problems. But he's is much closer to the end of his career than the beginning despite being only 28 years old.
Schiano sent a message to his team with this release, just like he did with Tanard Jackson. These Bucs want a different type of player. If Winslow wasn't cut this year, he would have been next year when his salary jumps from $3.3 million to $4.5 million. No sense delaying the inevitable.
That contract will make it nearly impossible for the Bucs to trade Winslow. We expect him to be released.
Winslow is not at the stage of his career where teams will see him as an asset they need to have. The Bucs certainly no longer feel that way, and they know him best.