The Buccaneers worked through the difficult process of trimming the roster to 53 players by Friday's deadline, releasing several players, including one who was expected to be a significant contributor this season.

Notable cuts: DT Amobi Okoye (6th year, Louisville) -- Considered one of the team's key offseason acquisitions, Okoye was expected to contribute depth along the defensive line and figure prominently into the team's pass rush. But knee problems limited him throughout the preseason, and Okoye's agent told the Tampa Bay Times that the two sides reached "an injury settlement, meaning he was deemed not ready to take the field." Okoye is likely to return to the Chicago Bears, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. RB Mossis Madu (2nd year, Oklahoma) -- After clawing his way from undrafted free agent to the practice squad and ultimately the active roster a year ago (he finished 2011 with 55 yards on 15 carries, playing in nine games), Madu was passed up by a pair of rookies: first-round draft pick Doug Martin and seventh-round choice Michael Smith. Add in veteran LeGarrette Blount and there just was no room or need for Madu's services. WR Tiquan Underwood (4th year, Rutgers) -- This must have been one of the tougher cuts coach Greg Schiano (who coached Underwood at Rutgers) had to make, as Underwood bookended the preseason with strong performances, including a six-catch, 82-yard output in the finale at Washington.

Complete cut list

RT Jermarcus Hardrick (rookie, undrafted free agent, Nebraska); C Moe Petrus (rookie, undrafted free agent, Connecticut); DE E.J. Wilson (3rd year, 4th round in 2010 draft, North Carolina); LB Rennie Curran (3rd year, 3rd round in 2010 draft, Georgia); CB James Rogers (rookie, undrafted free agent, Michigan); DT Frank Okam (5th year, 5th round in 2008 draft, Texas); S Larry Asante (3rd year, 5th round in 2010 draft, Nebraska); S Sean Baker (rookie, undrafted free agent, Ball State); RB Madu (2nd year, Oklahoma); DT Okoye (6th year, Louisville); WR Underwood (4th year, 7th round in 2009 draft, Rutgers); FB Cody Johnson (rookie, undrafted free agent, Texas); RB Robert Hughes (2nd year, undrafted free agent, Notre Dame); OG Desmond Wynn (rookie, undrafted free agent, Rutgers); WR Jordan Shipley (3rd year, 3rd round of 2010 draft, Texas); DT Teryl White (rookie, undrafted free agent, North Carolina Central); QB Brett Ratliff (5th year, undrafted free agent, Utah); TE Zack Pianalto (2nd year, undrafted free agent, North Carolina); DT Jordan Nix (rookie, undrafted free agent, North Carolina); K Kai Forbath (2nd year, undrafted free agent, UCLA); TE Drake Dunsmore (rookie, 7th round of 2012 draft, Northwestern); LB Jacob Cutrera (3rd year, undrafted free agent; LSU); WR Landon Cox (rookie, undrafted free agent, Northern Illinois).

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