Five Guys Whose Days May Be Numbered in Tampa
By Patrik Nohe
Right now the Buccaneers’ roster is loaded with bodies, many of whom are just trying to grind out a bottom-five roster spot or a practice squad offer. But every year teams also load up their roster with players who have no prayer, as much to have bodies for training camp as anything else.
Looking at the Bucs roster, there’s a few obvious ones that stick out right away, plus one or two veterans who could find themselves on the cutting block. We’ll look at each guys and then give you their chances of getting the axe, 100% meaning for sure and 0% (which you won’t see) meaning someone is safe.
Wallace Wright, 12, WR
Never a good sign when they hand you 12, and I don’t see the 5th year man out of UNC sticking in Tampa. Wright was unproductive in New York with the Jets and then missed 2010 and 2011. The Bucs have a pretty loaded receiving group now with Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, Dezmon Briscoe, Preston Parker and Sammie Stroughter all well ahead of him.
Chances he’s gone: 95%
Adam Hayward, 57, LB
They gave Hayward an extension, and he’s certainly a serviceable player, but what is the end-game with Hayward? He is what he is at this point. If he’s starting for your team it’s as a placeholder until you can upgrade. He is good on special teams and in reserve duty, but Greg Schiano and Mark Dominik may opt to go a different direction and take their lumps with the a player who has a higher ceiling. You have to ask at some point is it worth it to pay him that much to take reps from a younger player?
Chances he’s gone: 40%
Ahmad Black, 43, S
Black is undersized and aside from special teams, won’t see many chances in 2012. He’s a fan favorite because he was a Gator, and in college he was a great safety in spite of his stature, but in the pros he’s buried on Tampa’s depth chart. In front of him first rounder Mark Barron, newly-converted Ronde Barber, Cody Grimm (who started prior to injuries) and Larry Asante. Black could be a roster casualty when the first batch of cuts are made.
Chances he’s gone: 75%
Eric Guthrie, 4, P
The Bucs gave Michael Koenen 20 million dollars to leave Atlanta, they’re not about to take a cap hit on a punter. Guthrie is there to get some kicks on film, to provide a little competition and then to hand in his playbook early in camp.
Chances he’s gone: 100%
Kai Forbath, 2, K
The second-year kicker from UCLA is already without hope barring a Connor Barth injury. The Bucs franchised Barth this offseason, extended him handsomely and Barth and GM Mark Dominik even had a little bromance. See above.
Chances he’s gone: 100%