Photos of the Buccaneers' 2017 rookie mini-camp.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers practiced for three days over the weekend, conducting a rookie mini-camp that included several dozen undrafted players participating on tryout contracts. Immediately after the end of the mini-camp on Sunday, the Buccaneers made exactly one move on their 90-man offseason roster, and it wasn't an addition. However, it could eventually lead to one.
On Monday, the Buccaneers waived rookie cornerback Greg Mabin. Mabin, a former Iowa standout, was one of 14 undrafted free agents the team had signed the prior week after the conclusion of the 2017 NFL Draft. There was no accompanying move, meaning that there is one open spot on that 90-man roster. It's possible that one of the tryout players will be signed to fill that vacancy.
Photos of the Buccaneers 2017 Rookie Mini-Camp.
That would not be a surprise, as the annual rookie camp has often generated a couple signings from among the field of tryout players. Last year, for instance, the Bucs signed linebacker Micah Awe, defensive tackle Travis Britz and tackle Kelby Johnson, all tryout players, in the days following camp. None of those three made the team, but in 2015 wide receivers Adam Humphries and Donteea Dye went all the way from tryout contracts to significant roles in the offense in the regular season.
The Buccaneers may also sign an additional tryout player or two at a later date. However, if it turns out that only one new player emerges from this year's rookie camp, that would also not be a surprise. Greater roster depth on a team that is coming off a 9-7 season and expecting to challenge for the playoffs in 2017 means fewer opportunities for newcomers.
"We're full at 90 and then we'd have to trade some guys out for a tryout guy," said Buccaneers Head Coach Dirk Koetter after Saturday's practice. "I think just in general our roster is deeper than it was a year ago. I think it's getting tougher and tougher to make it. When you start thinking about, 'Yeah, we'd like to have this guy, but who do you want to let go?' it's not so easy, I know [General Manager] Jason [Licht] and his guys are watching practice and thinking the same thing. There's some guys that maybe a year or two ago might have had a better chance, but we've got a deeper football team right now than we did a year before."