Adams was the fourth overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft out of Clemson. He had 13.5 sacks in two-plus seasons with the Bucs, failing to play up to expectations that he'd help restore a once-tenacious pass rush.
In five games this season, Adams had 14 tackles and one sack. Stylez G. White likely will fill the opening in the lineup when the Bucs face the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Rookie coach Raheem Morris singled out the 6-foot-5, 258-pound defensive end on the opening day of training camp, saying Adams would be considered a "bust" if he didn't post double-digit sacks this season.
Adams had 6 sacks as a rookie and 6.5 last season, when the absence of a consistent pass rush contributed to a late-season collapse that cost Tampa Bay a playoff berth. After a 9-3 start, the Bucs lost four straight down the stretch.
The 26-year-old said during training camp that he welcomed the challenge posed by Morris, who also called out the third-year pro after Adams began the season with lackluster performances in the first three games.
"In football you need that. Players tend to get in their own element and do things that they want to do. They need to be called out sometimes. He's the coach. Whatever he says, goes," Adams said in early August.
"I take it as a challenge. Being drafted fourth overall, that comes with the territory. It's year three for me. Obviously it's time for me to step up."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press