Buccaneers waiving Ke'Shawn Vaughn is a sad ending to a once-promising career

Tampa Bay has officially moved on from Vaughn after a rough season.
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With back-to-back divisional wins, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have recovered from a 1-6 midseason slump and currently lead the NFC South division at 6-7. This week, Tampa Bay will attempt to extend its winning streak to three games with a trip up to Green Bay with hopes of strengthening their playoff push.

Not everyone is making the trip, though.

Ahead of Sunday's critical meeting with the Packers, the Bucs made two notable moves to their 53-man roster. First, Tampa Bay added free agent defensive lineman Deadrin Senat, but to make room for him the team waived running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn.

It's a bummer of an ending to a career that at one point looked to be promising.

After struggling to see the field often in his first two seasons at Illinois, Vaughn transferred to Vanderbilt and immediately blossomed into one of the nation's premier running backs. In 24 starts, Vaughn recorded 355 rushing attempts for 2,272 rushing yards, 21 touchdowns, and 6.6 YPC, in addition to 456 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 42 catches.

Although Vaughn would eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in both seasons at Vanderbilt, his junior season still remains one of the best in school history. Vaughn posted 157 rushing attempts for 1,244 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns, and 7.9 YPC while rushing for 127 or more yards in four of his final five games, including a 243-yard and two-touchdown outing on just 13 attempts in a 38-45 loss to Baylor in the Texas Bowl.

Due to his exceptional two-year stint as a Commodore, Vaughn was drafted by Tampa Bay with the No. 76 pick in the 2020 NFL draft. Across 43 games in four seasons as a Buccaneer, Vaughn logged 103 carries for 384 rushing yards and two touchdowns, along with 14 receptions for 81 receiving yards and one touchdown.

As a result of the sophomore breakout season of starting running back Rachaad White and the reliable depth at the position in Chase Edmonds and rookie Sean Tucker, Vaughn's role shrunk drastically. In just six games this season, Vaughn has had 24 rushing attempts for 42 yards and a 1.8 YPC, all career-worsts. He has also routinely been a healthy scratch on gameday, further limiting his ability to have an impact.

Tampa Bay will use its extra roster spot to sign Senat for Sunday's game, giving the Bucs another lineman to shut down the Packers' running game. Since being drafted as the 90th pick in the 2018 draft, Senat has recorded 52 total tackles, four tackles for loss, six QB hits, one sack, and one forced fumble.

The signing of Senat ultimatly reflects the lack of depth Tampa Bay has on defense, as six different players on defense have a game status of questionable or worse. This includes star DT Vita Vea (Doubtful, Toe) and veteran DT William Gholston (Knee/Ankle, Out) on the trenches, along with MLB Devin White (Foot, Questionable), CBs Jamel Dean (Ankle/Foot, Questionable) and Carlton Davis (Groin, Out), and FS Ryan Neal (Back, Doubtful).

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