The Tampa Bay Buccaneers trimmed 15 players from their roster on Monday and Tuesday to get down to the NFL-mandated limit of 75 before the 4:00 p.m. deadline. However, one player who was part of a similar process in Cleveland will be getting another chance this week with the Buccaneers.
On Wednesday, the team announced the signing of fourth-year wide receiver Jordan Norwood, most recently of the Browns. After spending the last three seasons with Cleveland, the team that signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Penn State in 2009, Norwood was released on Monday. Like the Buccaneers and many other teams around the league, the Browns got an early start on the roster moves that were due by Tuesday.
To make room for Norwood on the roster, the Buccaneers waived fourth-year defensive end Aaron Morgan. Morgan joined the Bucs' practice squad last October and was later promoted to the active roster. He saw action in seven games for Tampa Bay, recording one tackle plus an additional stop on special teams.
After playing Washington in the preseason finale at Raymond James Stadium on Thursday, the team will need to further reduce its roster to 53 players. That gives Norwood and his new teammates one more live contest to enhance their chances of sticking on the regular-season roster.
Norwood started with the Browns in the spring of 2009 but spent most of his rookie season on the Philadelphia Eagles' practice squad after being waived by Cleveland in the final roster cuts. The Eagles promoted Norwood to their active roster in December and he got into one game before season's end. After going to camp with Philadelphia the next summer, Norwood reversed the previous year's move by signing with Cleveland's practice squad after being released by the Eagles. The Browns promoted him to the practice squad in late November but he was a game day inactive for each of the team's remaining contests.
Norwood finally got his chance to play in 2011, when he made the team in Cleveland and appeared in 14 games with four starts. He snared a career-best 23 passes for 268 yards and one score in 2011, then hauled in 13 passes for 137 yards in just two games for the Browns last season. Norwood spent roughly half of the 2012 campaign on injured reserve with a foot ailment, though he was tagged with the new "designated for return" I.R. option and did return to the active roster in December.