The injured two-time Pro Bowl guard appeared in just nine games for the Bucs. A toe injury that required surgery and the recurrence of a MRSA infection kept him away from the playing field during his brief stay in Tampa. Nicks didn’t miss a game in four seasons with the New Orleans Saints before signing a lucrative five-year deal to the tune of $47.5 million with the Bucs in 2012.
“He wanted what was best for the Buccaneers,” said general manager Jason Licht. “He didn’t want to lead us down the wrong path. The whole time we were hopeful he could play.”
Nicks addressed the decision in a statement released by the team:
“I'd like to thank the Buccaneers organization for working with me as I have attempted to get myself back on the football field. However, after careful consideration, I have made the decision to step away from the game. This was by no means an easy decision, but I believe that it is what is best for me and my family as well as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers."
Nicks’ departure leaves head coach Lovie Smith with an additional roster spot to fill on the offensive line.
"It's a shame we didn't get a chance to work with him on the football field," Smith said of Nicks. "Carl worked hard this summer to get back, and sometimes your body just won't allow you to do that…I understand the decision he had to make."
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