The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut kicker Matt Bryant and traded backup quarterback Luke McCown on Saturday.

Neither move was a surprise.

Bryant was released even though his 83.1 field goal rate in four seasons is the best in franchise history. He injured his right hamstring in practice last month and did not kick in the preseason.

Mike Nugent, signed as a free agent during the offseason, handled all of the kicking duties in preseason and made 6 of 9 field goals.

McCown, beat out by Byron Leftwich for the starting quarterback job, was traded to Jacksonville a few hours after final cuts were announced and coach Raheem Morris appeared to be ready to carry four quarterbacks into the regular-season opener.

A solid training camp and preseason by Josh Johnson, who will play behind Leftwich and first-round draft pick Josh Freeman, made McCown expendable.

Johnson completed 7 of 17 passes for 182 yards, one touchdown and an interception in Friday night's preseason finale against Houston. For much of training camp, Morris suggested Johnson might be among the best 53 players on the team.

"We want to keep the best 53 and Josh went out (Friday night) and proved he can move the football, and when he's out there he can be productive, he can learn, and he can go without a whole bunch of reps. That's a big-time quality in this league," Morris said after the game.

"When he gets his opportunity to go play, he plays well and fights his way to the top. That's what I want this team to be built on."

Tackle Xavier Fulton was placed on injured reserve and safety Donte Nicholson was waived injured.

Safety Tanard Jackson, who has started every game since entering the NFL in 2007, was placed on the reserve/suspended list. He was suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league's substances of abuse policy.

Jackson's suspension leaves the roster at 52 players, meaning a roster replacement will be signed in the next few days.

In addition to releasing Bryant, an eighth-year pro who scored a club-record 131 points last season, the Bucs waived safety Steve Cargile, tackles James Lee and Anthony Alabi, linebacker Bo Rudd, cornerbacks Kyle Arrington and Darrell Hunter, defensive tackles Rashaad Duncan and Chris Bradwell, center Rob Bruggeman, fullback Jameel Cook, defensive ends Louis Holmes and Jarriett Buie, tight ends Jason Pociask and Ryan Purvis, running back Kareem Huggins, and receivers Patrick Carter, Cortez Hankton, Marcus Maxwell and Mario Urrutia.

Bryant signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent in 2005. Among his accomplishments was kicking the second-longest game-winning field goal in NFL history, a 62-yarder against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2006.

The 34-year-old converted 32 of 38 field goals and had three game-winning kicks last season.