Surprise Buccaneers roster decision makes little sense

Jaelon Darden, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Jaelon Darden, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

After two years of gushing over wide receiver and return man Jaelon Darden, the Buccaneers coaching staff has finally decided to part ways with the struggling receiver.

The past two off-seasons have been filled with a large amount of praise centered on Jaelon Darden by the Buccaneers coaching staff and front office.

Each year, it seemed like everyone in the building believed a major breakout was imminent, yet the player that showed up at practice and in camp never seemed to show up when the rubber met the road in games.

Unfortunately, that lack of production on the offensive end has become too much for the staff to ignore, and now the team has made a decision that would’ve made much more sense at the start of the season than at this point.

Jaelon Darden is no longer on the Buccaneers.

Yes, the receiver that Tampa traded up for to take in the fourth round is no longer on the roster.

This is a bad look for the team after such a short time and it actually creates more problems that it solves.

This is a tough part of the year to start looking for a new punt returner, especially one that was playing at Darden’s level. While his offensive skills were lacking, Darden was quietly able to become one of the more productive return men in the league when fielding punts (1st in total yards).

It was rarely flashy, but Darden was able to get the job done. Now, Tampa needs to find someone else to shoulder that load that is still an important part of the game.

This is just an unnecessary level of pressure to put on the team when stringing wins together is the main goal. Sure, Darden wasn’t able to do much on offense, but the Bucs would’ve been wise to keep him on the roster until the end of the season to make the most of his quality special teams play.

The Buccaneers are now back in the market for a special teamer. Maybe there is a replacement already on the roster.

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