The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will miss RB Dare Ogunbowale

It’s easy to get caught up in all of the positive moves that the Buccaneers have made, but they will notice Dare Ogunbowale’s absence.

Tom Brady. Leonard Fournette. Rob Gronkowski. With all of the big names coming in, it becomes simple to see that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have improved this offseason. Nearly every part of the team has impressed, but the Bucs did decide to cut running back and special teams captain Dare Ogunbowale, a move that could hurt down the road.

Ogunbowale was never the Buccaneers’ flashiest player, but he was a sound pass-blocker and consistent through the air, two qualities Bruce Arians wants in a back.

The Buccaneers took a chance on Ogunbowale after a stint on the practice squad, and through hard work and an impressive 2019 preseason, he made the 53-man roster as the primary third-down back and as the special teams captain.

If there is one thing that resonates with NFL players, its hard work from their leaders, and Ogunbwaole brought that every day. Ogunbowale was not pegged to play the most prominent role this season, but the loss of a captain will always hurt.

The backfield has grown far older on average with the addition of LeSean McCoy and Fournette, but the special teams unit has grown much younger. Ogunbowale was consistent in his role, and the unit will have to spend ample time searching to find a suitable replacement.

The biggest reason why this move hurts is that it mostly came as a surprise. Ogunbowale actually outperformed several of his counterparts during camp, and there is an excellent chance that he would have kept his job if the Bucs didn’t use a third-round pick on Ke’Shawn Vaughn.

If Vaughn can step his play up substantially and turn over a new leaf after camp, Ogunbowale’s departure may sting a little less, but there is undoubtedly a hole on the Buccaneer roster now.

Ogunbowale did clear wavers, and the Bucs didn’t decide to bring him back to the practice squad, but it seems unlikely that he will stay a free agent for long.

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He may not go down as one of the all-time greats in the Buccaneer backfield, but Dare Ogunbowale did leave an impact on the current roster, an impact that will help over the next two seasons.