The NFL cut their rosters from 90 to 53 men Saturday. What can we take away from the Buccaneers’ cuts?
There were few surprises when it came to the Buccaneers initial 53-man roster announcement Saturday. For those that follow the site – or Hard Knocks for that matter – the cuts of Riley Bullough and Jeremy McNichols should have been expected. Outside of those, there were no groundbreaking moves that caught any Bucs fans off guard.
But what can we take away from the Bucs roster as it stands now?
First and foremost, the Bucs will be active on the waiver wire – or at least as active as they can be given that they sit 19th in line. Jason Licht is always scouring the league for ways to improve the team and this second free agency period will be no exception.
The biggest thing is looking for pass rush help and cornerback depth. At corner, the Bucs currently have Brent Grimes, Vernon Hargreaves, Javien Elliott, Robert McClain, Josh Robinson, and Ryan Smith (listed as DB on official roster).
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The Bucs already made a big move while everyone was sleeping in signing three time Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward, formerly of the Denver Broncos, to a one year, $5-million dollar deal. Now, it’ll be interesting to see how much they get from him over the first few weeks given that he’s about to dive in to the Mike Smith crash course of understanding the defense. We all saw how much the defense as a whole struggle out of the gate last season, so it likely won’t be as bad with one just one guy having to learn everything so quickly, but Ward’s athleticism and natural skill will still be far more beneficial than hindering while he learns what’s going on.
From the sounds of things, Ward had his pick of nearly a quarter of the NFL and decided he wanted to join something special in Tampa Bay;
As for pass rush, there aren’t too many names that jump off the list that would be instant – or even moderate impact guys. If any moves are made along the defensive line, it will likely be later on and due to injury rather than someone they feel they have to get right now.
With the release of running backs Jeremy McNichols and Russell Hansbrough, as well as Doug Martin being placed on the suspended list, the running back depth is Jacquizz Rodgers, Charles Sims, and Peyton Barber so running back is a position the Bucs could look to add some depth. Though, when Doug Martin returns, a player will have to be cut to make room for him as he doesn’t count against the 53 right now. A name to potentially be on the lookout for there is yet another former Redskin in Matt Jones. When given the opportunity, Jones has looked pretty good. For some reason, he and Jay Gruden never clicked in Washington and Jones often ended up in the doghouse.
There’s no such thing as a “final roster”. This is an ever changing group based on who is available and what kind of injured players need to be replaced. Keep an eye out for the latest roster moves here as well as by following us on Twitter.