“After thoughtful consideration over the past few weeks, Coach Arians and I came to the conclusion that we needed to make this change,” Buccaneers GM Jason Licht said in a statement. “Decisions such as this are always difficult, but I felt it was in the best interest of our team to part ways with Vernon at this time and allow him to explore other opportunities. We are disappointed that it did not work out here for Vernon and we wish him continued success moving forward.”
Hargreaves was benched for a lack of effort on Sunday, but this is still a surprising move given Hargreaves’ status as a former first-round pick.
It’s likely another team will claim Hargreaves on waivers to give him a look for the rest of the season. His fifth-year option doesn’t become guaranteed until the start of the 2020 league year, meaning he can be cut before then with no cap hit.
Hargreaves, 24, is a former first-round pick of the Buccaneers back in 2016. He was entering the final year of his four-year, $14.17 million rookie contract this offseason when the Buccaneers exercised his fifth-year option for 2020 at $9.9 million.
In 2019, Hargreaves has appeared in nine games for the Buccaneers and recorded 40 total tackles, one fumble recovery, one interception which he returned for a touchdown and four pass defenses.