Things might not be looking good for Tampa Bay Buccaneers DB M.J. Stewart
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are officially working through Training Camp currently and there are many major decisions that have to be made.
One of the major evaluation periods for the Buccaneers will include making roster cuts to get down to 53-men.
Though nothing has been decided as of yet, things may not be looking good for Tampa Bay Buccaneers DB M.J. Stewart.
Stewart needs to step up big in the Buccaneers Training Camp
Stewart looked like a promising prospect when he was drafted just a few years ago, but he has yet to find a home in the Tampa Bay defensive backfield and that’s why he may very well be in trouble as we progress through Training Camp.
The Bucs have continued to address the defensive backfield over the past couple of drafts and they are feeling much more confident about some of the guys around Stewart stepping up and filling roles.
While it still seems likely that we’ll see Stewart on the roster in some capacity, he may very well not make the active roster if he can’t perform at a high level this Training Camp.
Why? He has been used in several capacities, but hasn’t been able to find his niche. The Bucs have played Stewart at the inside slot cornerback spot, outside and at nickel back. He simply hasn’t impressed at any of those positions yet.
ESPN’s Jenna Laine also said that Stewart may be the veteran on the hottest seat heading into camp.
"“The Bucs have not been able to find a place for Stewart, who has not matched the production of draftmate Carlton Davis,” Laine said. “They tried lining him up outside, tried to convert him to safety and tried him at nickelback. He played 23% of the Bucs’ defensive snaps last season and was a healthy scratch more than once. Ryan Smith hasn’t showed a lot as a corner, either, but he has carved out a nice role for himself as a gunner on special teams.”"
It also doesn’t help Stewart that he was a second-round pick. The Bucs were looking for him to come in and make an immediate impact, not be a project player. If he can’t show signs of improvement and find a spot in the defensive backfield early on in Training Camp, he may end up being forgotten.
Keep your eyes on news related to M.J. Stewart over the course of this next month, Bucs fans- for good or for bad- as the veteran looks to lock up a spot and showcase his talent to the coaching staff.