The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced 23 roster moves on Tuesday, in the process trimming their numbers to the regular-season limit of 53 players before the 4:00 p.m. ET deadline.
Those moves included the waiver of 15 players who are not yet vested veterans, including rookie cornerback Chris Wilcox, a seventh-round draft pick, safety Javon Hagan and wide receivers Travis Jonsen and Cyril Grayson. One of those 15, tackle Brad Seaton, was waived/injured. The Buccaneers also released seven veteran players, including quarterback Ryan Griffin, who has been with the team since being claimed off waivers from the New Orleans Saints in 2016. The Buccaneers will apparently go with veteran Blaine Gabbert as their primary backup to Tom Brady, with second-round rookie Kyle Trask earning the third quarterback spot.
Other veterans who were released included wide receiver Jaydon Mickens and cornerback Antonio Hamilton. Mickens was the Buccaneers' primary return man in 2020 but that job will likely now go to another 2021 draft pick, fourth-round wideout Jaelon Darden. Hamilton, who played against the Buccaneers for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2021, was part of a crowded competition at quarterback during training camp and was apparently passed by Dee Delaney, who had two interceptions in the preseason finale in Houston.
The Bucs came into Tuesday with 76 active players, with four more – kicker Ryan Succop, defensive lineman Ndamukong and offensive linemen Nick Leverett and Earl Watford – currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list. If and when those players are activated in the coming days, additional moves will be necessary to remain at the 53-man limit. In addition to the cuts noted above, the team also placed wide receiver Justin Watson on the reserve/physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
View photos of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 53-man roster.
Here are all the moves Tampa Bay made on Tuesday to get their roster from 76 down to 53 active spots:
- T Jake Benzinger
- WR Cyril Grayson
- S Javon Hagan
- OLB Ladarius Hamilton
- G Jonathan Hubbard
- TE Tanner Hudson
- WR Travis Jonsen
- TE Codey McElroy
- CB Herb Miller
- OLB Elijah Ponder
- DL Benning Potoa'e
- T Brad Seaton (waived/injured)
- DL Kobe Smith
- T Brandon Walton
- CB Chris Wilcox
- TE Jerell Adams
- QB Ryan Griffin
- CB Antonio Hamilton
- ILB Joe Jones
- DL Jeremiah Ledbetter
- WR Jaydon Mickens
- RB C.J. Prosise
PLACED ON RESERVE/PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO PERFORM LIST:
- WR Justin Watson
All of the players the Buccaneers waived on Saturday will be subject to the waiver claim system over the next 24 hours. Those who clear will be prime candidates to return to the Buccaneers' practice squad. Just like last year, each team has 16 available practice squad spots, six more than in 2019. Though some of those spots could be filled by players from other teams, the Buccaneers' initial practice squad of the season is usually made up largely of players the team cut the day before.
Vested veterans – the second group above – are not subject to the waiver wire and are immediately free to sign with any team after being released.
Watson was eligible for the reserve/PUP list because he started training camp on the active/PUP list. The 2018 fifth-round draft pick has played in 39 games and made significant contributions over the past three seasons, but a knee injury that required surgery kept him out of camp. A player who starts the season on the reserve/PUP list must remain there for at least six weeks, after which the team has up to five weeks to let him return to practice. Once he begins practicing, the team has a 21-day window during which he does not count against the active roster; by the end of that time the team must either activate him or place him back on the reserve list for the rest of the season.