M.J. Stewart has moved on from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and there are realistically three players vying for the spot he leaves behind.
M.J. Stewart started the 2019 NFL season as the starting nickel corner for the Buccaneers. He looked decent during the preseason, and it appeared as though he would finally live up to his second-round draft status.
Stewart, Vernon Hargreaves, and Carlton Davis began the year as the corners with the majority of the reps. Still, it quickly became apparent that some sweeping changes needed to occur if the secondary was going to improve.
As the season progressed, Hargreaves and Stewart both saw their snaps disappear, and Hargreaves was eventually released, and Stewart started to play more reps on special teams, to almost no success.
With numerous young returners to choose from to play at nickel, the Buccaneers decided that Stewart was no longer a fit for the roster. Tampa Bay loves their three top corners in Davis, Jamel Dean, and Sean Murphy-Bunting, and Stewart can’t compete with SMB in the slot.
With an open roster spot available, the Buccaneers don’t need another corner to step up into a starting role, but they will need players who can support Ryan Smith on special teams or provide some rest for the three starters when needed.
If the Buccaneers take six corners on their 53-man roster, the following three players are competing for two remaining spots.