Monday was a brutal day for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the team began the very difficult process of cutting the roster down to 53 players.
NFL teams have until 4 pm ET on Tuesday to get their 53-man rosters set, and while a handful of cuts were made throughout Sunday the Bucs made a majority of the roster decisions on Monday. Most of the players getting released were firmly on the roster bubble and were expected to be cut, but a few names that came across were a bit more surprising.
Pat O'Connor, for example, has been with the Bucs since 2017 but found himself among the players released on Monday. John Wolford was also released, although the expectation late in camp was that the Bucs would only carry two quarterbacks into the season.
Even the rookie class started to get cut into, as sixth-round pick Jose Ramirez was let go after being passed up in a deep well of talent at linebacker.
There was an even bigger surprise as veteran wide receiver David Moore was released late Monday afternoon.
Buccaneers release David Moore in surprise roster cut
Buccaneers insider JC Allen reported that wide receiver Moore was among the mass roster cuts the team made on Monday. It's expected that he will remain with the Bucs and be added to the practice squad if he clears waivers.
Moore was in a weird spot, as he didn't appear to be on the roster bubble at all during training camp but also wasn't in line to take over the WR3 role vacated by Russell Gage. A key benefit of having Moore around was his connection to new offensive coordinator Dave Canales, as the two go way back to their days together in Seattle.
One of the reasons the Bucs signed Moore was to not only add depth to the wide receiver room but serve as a resource for Canales as he installed his new system. It sounds like Moore will still be around to help with that, but will do so as a member of the practice squad.
What the move signifies is the fact that the Bucs will only carry five receivers into the regular season. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Trey Palmer are the top three players at the position, with Rakim Jarrett and Deven Thompkins rounding out the depth chart. Kaylon Geiger, Kade Warner, Taye Barber, and Ryan Miller were all among the final roster cuts being made.