San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - John Lynch announced Thursday that he will not return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The five-time Pro Bowl safety has not yet officially been released by the Buccaneers, but has been given permission to talk to other teams.
The 33-year-old Lynch has played all 11 years of his career with Tampa Bay, helping them to a Super Bowl title during the 2002 season.
"It's at this time that we're going to move forward," said Bucs general manager Bruce Allen in a press conference Thursday in Tampa following Lynch's press conference in San Diego. "John and I, as I'm sure he referred to, had a conversation -- I think it was a couple of nights ago -- and we decided the best way to move forward is to allow him the opportunity to talk to other teams and find a home that is best for him and his family."
Lynch offered to restructure his contract, but his proposal was turned down by the Bucs.
"This decision was not a result of my unwillingness to restructure my contract," Lynch explained. "As a result, I will be playing football next year for a different team."