Tampa Bay has become a big-time destination for free agents after the arrival of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, and Tavon Austin is a new name to consider.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are putting the finishing touches on their roster before the start of the 2020 NFL season. With their cap space dwindling, Tampa Bay needs to put a lot of thought into the remainder of their signings, and Tavon Austin makes a ton of sense.
Austin has struggled to live up to expectations in the NFL, and Tampa Bay could sign him to fix several holes on the team for a relatively low price. These high expectations and remaining potential are what makes this move so intriguing for the Buccaneers.
The West Virginia product exploded onto the scene while in college as a runner, receiver, and as a deadly special teams threat. Over his final two years at school, Austin had 2,475 receiving yards, 825 rushing yards, four special teams touchdowns, and 24 receiving/rushing touchdowns.
Tavon Austin was about as talented as a prospect could be, and that led to him being the eighth overall selection in the 2013 NFL draft for the Rams. Austin’s level of play didn’t match the expectations, but being on a team like the Rams didn’t help either.
The first-round pick struggled to shine in the NFL as he did in college despite still being a legitimate special teams threat. After a disappointing final season with the LA Rams and their new coach at the time, Sean McVay, Austin was traded to Dallas, where he also played a minimal role.
The transition of dominant college talent to a consistent NFL option is not always a foregone conclusion, but Austin’s skills and athleticism show that there is some potential remaining.
Austin remains one of the fastest receivers in the league, has multiple levels to his game, and just needs a place to revive his game. Tampa Bay would be an excellent fit for both parties.