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Bucs, Nicks part ways

<p>The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and guard Carl Nicks mutually agreed to part ways on Friday.</p>

Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and guard Carl Nicks mutually agreed to part ways on Friday.

Nicks signed a five-year, $47.5 million contract with the Bucs in March 2012. The deal included $31 million guaranteed.

"I'd like to thank the Buccaneers organization for working with me as I have attempted to get myself back on the football field," Nicks said in a statement. "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."

A Pro Bowl selection in 2010 and 2011 while with New Orleans, Nicks played in just nine games with the Bucs over the past two seasons.

"I know this has been a difficult time for Carl and his family, but we respect his decision and thank him for his effort in trying to get back on the football field," Bucs general manager Jason Licht said in a statement. "Carl is a very prideful athlete and has been an elite level guard in the league. We are all disappointed that he will not be a part of this new chapter of Buccaneers football."

The 29-year-old Nicks missed the final nine games of the 2012 campaign with a toe injury that led to a MRSA infection. He had been medically cleared for training camp before both sides made the decision to move on.

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