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Buccaneers cut Anthony Collins; May look to return to Bengals

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The Bengals let Anthony Collins walk in NFL free agency last year, and they look like geniuses for doing so.

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Shocker: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released offensive tackle Anthony Collins.

The move was expected since Collins was a healthy scratch in the final four games after surrendering 14 QB hits and 14 hurries in 643 snaps, good for a -12.9 grade by Pro Football Focus. The Bucs attempted to shop him in a trade, but every team knew he was going to be cut, so no one offered up anything, opting instead to pursue Collins in free agency if they wanted him.

Cutting Collins before March 12 will save the Bucs $3 million in 2015 salary, as that's the date when his full $6 million 2015 salary would have become guaranteed, rather than just half of it.

Unless you recently became a Bengals fan (welcome friend), you'll remember Collins was a solid offensive tackle for the Bengals from 2008-13. He was mostly a backup/swing tackle, but did end up starting 25 games at both left and right tackle during a six-year stretch.

That helped Collins earn a five-year, $30 million contract last year from Tampa Bay, which they regretted dearly. They paid him $9 million to be one of the worst starting tackles in the NFL last season, and it's clear he's only suited for an offense like Jay Gruden's, which features a quick passing game that hides his pass-blocking woes. Collins did finish 2014 with a positive run-blocking grade (2.0), but it wasn't enough to keep Tampa Bay from cutting him.

Now, the only question is if the Bengals will look for a reunion with Collins.