Buccaneers: Tight end waived after strong preseason

Tanner Hudson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Tanner Hudson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have waived tight end, Tanner Hudson.

The final cuts period in the NFL is always one that has people on pins and needles. For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, that is no different despite bringing back their entire Super Bowl championship starting lineup. The Buccaneers will (for now) be moving on without tight end Tanner Hudson.

During this preseason and training camp, Hudson had become a player that was easy to root for. In a crowded tight end room, he had his work cut out for him, but it’s hard not to root for the underdog.

It seemed like a foregone conclusion and inevitability that the Buccaneers would keep their best three tight ends from 2020 in the legendary Rob Gronkowski, ol’ reliable Cameron Brate, and former first-round pick O.J. Howard who’s returning from injury. That didn’t mean Hudson wouldn’t fight for everything he had though.

Hudson, like Brate, was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Buccaneers. Despite being a part of the Bucs since 2019, making the roster his rookie year, he was still considered a bit of a longshot to make the final roster this season. Hudson was on and off the practice squad in 2020, but with the injury to Howard, was elevated to the active roster, and even appeared in Super Bowl LV, receiving a target.

Speaking of Howard’s injury, it’ll be interesting to see what the Bucs’ plan is with tight end moving forward. Gronk’s body is a shell of itself, Brate is coming off of an injury, and we really don’t have the time to go over Howard’s injury history here. That’s not to mention his subpar preseason either. On the other side of that, Hudson made sure he stood out in camp and preseason, playing with the type of effort that was almost inspiring to watch, as you legitimately could see that he was playing as if his life was on the line.  Hudson would have been a nice insurance option to have in the tight end room.

Granted, a lot can happen between now and the underrated mayhem that is the clearing of waivers. For now, though, it seems the Buccaneers will be moving forward with their three best tight ends, regardless of health concerns. Either way, there’s little reason to worry.

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