TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ The Tampa Bay Buccaneers showed Tuesday how happy they are with the job rookie Shaun King did this season.

The Bucs declined to exercise a $4.6 million option on Trent Dilfer's contract, allowing the 27-year-old quarterback to become an unrestricted free agent.

Dilfer started 76 games over six seasons with the Bucs.

``Given the situation that exists here in Tampa, I agree with the Bucs that it is best for everyone that I be permitted to move on to another team,'' Dilfer said in a statement.

He broke his right collarbone Nov. 28 at Seattle, giving King an opportunity to showcase his potential.

Tampa Bay finished the regular season 4-1 with King starting and won its first division title in two decades. The Bucs also beat Washington in the second round of the playoffs before losing at St. Louis, 11-6, on Sunday.

The move came a day after coach Tony Dungy said one of the Bucs' first orders of business this offseason would be to evaluate the team and see how they could improve offensively.

Tampa Bay general manager Rich McKay said there were many factors that went into the decision to let Dilfer go, but he would not elaborate on them.

``It's probably more appropriate at this time to emphasize that Trent has played a major role in helping us get this franchise turned around over the last six years,'' McKay said.