Buccaneers: 5 Potential Player Releases Prior to Week One
It’s not that this next player can’t play at all, he just may not have a role on this team going forward.
When Stocker joined the Bucs back in 2011, he showed some promise as a pass catcher, with 12 receptions his rookie year and 16 the next year. The last few years have not been kind. The last three years have yielded seven, nine, and five receptions, respectively. He has served the role of a blocker quite well. However, when asked to be a pass receiving target, he just hasn’t been up to par.
Last season was a breakout year for Cameron Brate. After a mere 23 receptions in his second season he went crazy in 2016, posting 57 receptions for 660 yards and eight touchdowns. At times he was THE secondary target to Mike Evans. Jameis Winston came to rely on him. A lot. He also graded out as a better blocker than Stocker (per Pro Football Focus).
There has even been interest in adding a tight end during the draft. Some have shown that the team has interest in O.J. Howard, should be come within reach. David Njoku is another name that comes to mind, as well as players that are slated to be later picks. With players like Brate at their disposal as well as others, is it out of the realm to think that Stocker could lose his role?
After all, if released, Stocker costs the team exactly nothing in dead money (per Spotrac). Licht and Koetter could easily be compelled to let Stocker go.