Buccaneers release 2016 1st-round pick Hargreaves

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released former first-round draft pick Vernon Hargreaves on Tuesday.

Hargreaves, the 11th overall pick in 2016, was benched during Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals for a lack of hustle. Bucs head coach Bruce Arians took issue with the corner's effort on a 55-yard completion to Cardinals wideout Andy Isabella.

"After thoughtful consideration over the past few weeks, Coach Arians and I came to the conclusion that we needed to make this change," general manager Jason Licht said in a release. "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."

Hargreaves lasted just 35 games over four seasons with the Bucs. The Tampa native was highly touted out of the University of Florida for his ball skills, but he recorded just two interceptions during his time with the Buccaneers.

He was the third cornerback taken in the 2016 draft, behind fifth overall pick Jalen Ramsey and 10th overall pick Eli Apple, who was traded from the New York Giants to the New Orleans Saints during his third season.

The Bucs cut ties with Hargreaves despite owning the league's worst pass defense, giving up 298 yards through the air per game. The team has been relying on rookie corners Sean Murphy-Bunting, Jamel Dean, and Mike Edwards.

With Hargreaves gone, the only player remaining from Tampa's 2016 draft class is corner Ryan Smith, who's been utilized predominantly in special teams.

Buccaneers release 2016 1st-round pick Hargreaves
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