The Buccaneers need to learn when to move on.
Justin Watson has been a hard worker for the Buccaneers during his time in Tampa, but his performances just haven’t cut it. It’s never easy to talk about moving on from players, especially those that are just returning from injuries. Still, the Bucs need to realize that they are wasting time and a roster space right now on a player that can’t contribute at the proper level.
This lack of production is certainly not due to any physical issues. Watson has the height and speed to keep teams excited for a long time, which is probably why he has stayed on this roster for so long, but the production just isn’t there. But athletic ability doesn’t always lead to production.
Making an impact in this wide receiver room isn’t easy given the depth, but 23 receptions, 258 receiving yards, and two touchdowns over four seasons don’t cut it, and Watson isn’t dominant on special teams either.
It isn’t easy to carve out a space for yourself as a fifth-round pick, but players like Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson, Breshad Perriman, and Cyril Grayson have done it in less time; so why hasn’t Watson?
The Buccaneers, unfortunately, have a habit of holding onto players for too long. The writing was on the wall for Justin Evans and Kendell Beckwith long before Tampa moved on, and Watson is in a similar boat, albeit with fewer injuries.
Still, the Bucs have enough receiver and special teams depth to move on from Watson by the offseason at the latest, but they would be wise to mull the idea over in the coming weeks with names like Jaelon Darden coming back. Watson isn’t going to move the needle on offense either way, and spending a fourth-round pick on a guy like Darden implies he will get a longer opportunity.
Watson has given all of himself to the Bucs, and no one can ever fault that, but this roster spot would be better spent on almost any other player that can actually compete to suit up on game days.
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