This year's preseason roster cutdowns are coming in waves, as according to NFL rules. By Tuesday, August 17 at 4 p.m., teams need to have their rosters pared down to 85 players. The Buccaneers were two moves away heading into the day and have announced they have waived (injured) offensive guard Donell Stanley and waived wide receiver John Franklin III following a failed physical.
Stanley was signed in February of 2021 and spend OTAs with the team, providing depth on the interior through training camp. Prior to the Bucs, he was signed out of South Carolina to the Miami Dolphins in 2020 but was waived before the season began.
Franklin was signed to the Buccaneers originally as a defensive back in 2019 and bounced between the practice squad and active roster. With his varying skillset, Franklin had become a fixture on the Bucs' scout team at the tail end of the 2019 season and was then moved to wide receiver. Head Coach Bruce Arians had even stated at one point that he could see Franklin being an emergency quarterback for the team due to his collegiate experience at the position at Florida State, Auburn and eventually Florida Atlantic. Emergency quarterback aside, Arians had spoken to Franklin's potential in gadget packages as he headed into the 2020 offseason as a part of the Bucs' deep receiving corps.
Franklin spent the nearly non-existent 2020 offseason and limited preseason with Tampa Bay before suffering an ACL tear in training camp before the regular season. The Bucs placed him on injured reserve in late August of 2020 and since then, Franklin had been rehabbing and working his way back from the injury. The team announced with the waiver that Franklin had failed his physical Tuesday.
Prior to the Bucs, the former Last Chance U star spent time with the Chicago Bears.
The Bucs roster now stands at the required 85. The team will need to cut the roster to 80 players by Tuesday, August 24.