After just over a month of practices and preseason games, the end of the offseason has finally arrived.
Before Week 1 gets here and the NFL officially returns to our lives, there’s still a pretty sizable order of business that needs attending to. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to cut down the roster to 53 players and have until the 4 pm ET deadline on Tuesday to get it done.
That means some tough decisions are going to be made over the next 24-48 hours, ones that will shape how this upcoming season goes for the Bucs.
Finalizing the roster is what the last month has been all about. Some spots were safe from the start, but a slew of young players and rookies were fighting for key roles and slots on the depth chart. Before the roster is finalized on Tuesday, let’s take a look at how things stack up and make some predications on what Buccaneers 53 man roster might look like when it gets submitted to the league.
What was once the biggest and potentially most complicated position to figure out at the beginning of training camp is perhaps the easiest to sort out ahead of final roster cuts. Baker Mayfield was named the Bucs starting quarterback last week, ending the battle with Kyle Trask who will now be his backup.
The big question then became what to do with John Wolford. He suffered a pretty scary neck injury in the preseason win over the Jets, something that he’s still working back from. Wolford didn’t see any action in the Bucs preseason finale, which is likely a precursor for what will end up happening with him.
Wolford is going to get cut by the Bucs to help trim the roster down to 53 players, but there’s hope that he can clear waivers and then re-join the team as a member of the practice squad. He’d still be a part of the quarterback room and remain in the building, but it’s unlikely the Bucs carry three quarterbacks into the season when the pair of Baker-Trask is pretty solid.