Over the past 24 hours, some of the depth the Tampa Bay Buccaneers worked to build up this offseason took a hit, as one player called it quits, while another had to call some friends to get bailed out of a bad situation.
The Buccaneers’ website released a statement on newly signed Wide Receiver Steve Smith, announcing that he has retired from football after six seasons. This is the second Buccaneer this offseason to be signed and then retire quickly thereafter, joining Nate Kaeding as new Bucs who weren’t healthy enough to keep playing football. Smith was a player I believed could have a big impact in Tampa Bay, but it’s clear that his injuries were quite serious, and it was hindering his ability to prepare for another grueling year in the NFL. This provides an opportunity for Eric Page, another slot receiver who has battled injuries in the past, to step up and earn a roster spot as a quicker, shiftier option as a third wideout. But it also cuts out a ton of upside from the receiving corps, as a healthy Smith would have been an excellent option to take the third receiver job.
On a more frustrating note, we learned last night that Cody Grimm was arrested this weekend for the second time this year on public intoxication charges. The Buccaneers’ backup safety and special teams ace has likely reduced his chances of making the team significantly, as Greg Schiano does not seem to have much patience for things like this, especially not when it comes to a more marginal player like Grimm. There are not a ton of other options at safety currently on the roster, as Sean Baker and Keith Tandy seem to be the beneficiaries of Grimm’s missteps, and neither of them inspire much confidence. Grimm may be able to work his way out of Greg Schiano’s doghouse, but this is still a disappointing development.