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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs Waive Goodbye to Leaf

One day after surprisingly keeping four QBs on the active roster, the Bucs release number four, Ryan Leaf, and claim WR Milton Wynn off waivers


QB Ryan Leaf made the active roster on Sunday but was waived on Monday

In 25 previous seasons, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had never gone into the opening game with four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster.

It looks like the streak will live on.

On Monday, the Buccaneers announced the release of fourth-year quarterback Ryan Leaf. The day before, the team had surprised some by electing to keep not only leaf but also second-year man Joe Hamilton, giving the Bucs' three backup hurlers behind starter Brad Johnson.

"Ryan came out of training camp as our fourth quarterback," said Buccaneers General Manager Rich McKay. "It was our hope that we could find a way to keep all four quarterbacks from a roster and contract standpoint; however we were unable to do so."

Leaf may now be claimed off waivers by any other NFL team over the next 24 hours. If he clears waivers, Leaf will be free to sign with any club in the league.

Coincidentally, the Buccaneers used the open roster spot created by Leaf's waiver to add another player from Washington State, Leaf's alma mater. Tampa Bay claimed rookie WR Milton Wynn off waivers from the St. Louis Rams. Wynn, the first of two fourth-round draft picks by the Rams in April, was waived by St. Louis on Sunday.

Wynn (6-2, 207) is a big, physical receiver with a good burst off the line. As a senior with the Cougars last fall, he led the team with 52 receptions for 964 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 18.5 yards per catch. Basically, that was Wynn's only experience in Division-IA, as his junior season was lost to a fractured finger after one game. He had transferred to Washington State after two years at Los Angeles Valley Junior College.

A native of Lancaster, California, Wynn will wear jersey number 88 with the Buccaneers. The Bucs now have six receivers on the active roster, as Wynn joins Keyshawn Johnson, Jacquez Green, Reidel Anthony, Karl Williams and Frank Murphy.

In four preseason games, Leaf completed seven of 19 passes for 81 yards and one interception, compiling a passer rating of 28.6 and suffering four sacks. He struggled throughout the month of August with a wrist injury originally sustained last season with the Chargers. Leaf's best outing occurred in the Bucs' 20-3 defeat of New England on August 25, during which he hit on three of five passes for 59 yards.

The Bucs originally claimed Leaf off waivers from the San Diego Chargers on March 2, then signed him to a restructured contract on March 19.

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