Scotty Miller was one of the best stories to follow during his time with the Buccaneers. That story in Tampa needs to come to a close in the right way.
Hard decisions have a place in every aspect of life. Sports are no exception to this rule, and the Buccaneers are going to put this on display during the coming months, much like every other NFL team.
Good players are going to get cut. Nearly half of the guys that are showing up over the next few days to live out and fight for their dreams in the NFL are going to be searching for a new team within just a few short weeks.
While this can be an exciting time for fans as the league gets ready to start up again, a heaviness hangs over the period as everyone waits for that axe to fall.
The rookie playing their heart out always seems to garner the most fan support, but veterans aren’t immune to this either. Guys that were part of great moments have a way of keeping support for many years into their career if they stay with the same team, but great moments and individual great seasons can’t keep every veteran in place.
Sometimes, teams make the hard decision to move on from veterans in favor of younger guys and cheaper deals for down the road, and that looks like a real possibility for Scotty Miller this year.
Moving on from Miller would hurt many hearts in Tampa. Miller’s catch against the Packers in the NFC Championship was one of the best moments in Buccaneer history. That 2020 season made Miller look like a legitimate third option.
2021 was a little bit different due to injuries, and the emergence of several factors could have the Bucs seeing Miller as the odd man out when they think about cuts.
There are only three wide receiver spots open. Seven guys feels like too many, but a receiver that pops as a returner could make it so that the Bucs roster seven.
Of the guys contending, Jaelon Darden and Tyler Johnson should make the roster based on age. That would then leave Scotty Miller, Breshad Perriman, Cyril Grayson, and a host of other young names competing for the last spot or two.
Two spots probably keeps Miller safe. One spot could mean the end of his time in Tampa.
Miller’s role in Tampa makes his staying difficult. Most people look at him and stereotypically peg him for a slot receiver. Instead, Miller plays more on the outside and vertically, something rather unusual for his stature.
Speed helps in this area, but Perriman and Grayson both have speed too. If not as fast, these two are perhaps only a step slower, and their size and abilities as blockers made it hard to justify keeping Miller when they can do 90% of his current job and then far more than is asked of him.
The Buccaneers could see this differently, but them making it so clear that the run will be more important has others seeing the ability to block as a critical skill for the receivers in Tampa.
If all of this is the case, the Bucs need to move Miller now. Waiting to cut him for the last round is only going to hurt his chances of landing a role with another team.
Miller deserves the chance to go out and win a job through camp with another team, much like what is happening with Bradley Pinion.
It would be one thing if the Bucs didn’t have enough camp bodies and they needed Miller to keep competition as high as possible, but the team has the options to keep the level of play high while also doing right by a fan favorite that deserves mountains of respect from his team.
Hopefully Scotty Miller is able to stay, but the Buccaneers need to be ready to handle this properly if it comes to otherwise.
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