Bucs release TE Tom Crabtree

TAMPA, Fla. -- At least for the moment, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reduced the crowd at tight end.

Veteran Tom Crabtree was released Saturday, coach Lovie Smith said.

“We have some numbers at tight end and it wasn’t looking really good for him,’’ Smith said. “Whenever I see that maybe it’s not going to work out for a veteran, I try to give him an opportunity to get on with someone else. That was the case with Tom. He’s a good football player and he’s played some good ball in the league.’’

Crabtree was signed as a free agent from Green Bay last year and the hope was he could be an all-around tight end. But injuries prevented Crabtree from making much of an impact.

The Bucs knew they had to get better at tight end and that’s why they used a second-round draft pick this year on Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The Bucs also have Tim Wright, Brandon Myers and Luke Stocker at tight end and that made Crabtree expendable.

But the Bucs still could add another tight end to fill Crabtree’s roster spot. Taylor Sloat and Jamel Johnson are trying out during this weekend’s rookie camp.