The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have waived long-tenured tight end Luke Stocker as well as veteran defensive end Darryl Tapp, a more recent arrival. Those moves were announced on Tuesday along with the release of cornerback David Rivers from the practice squad. All players released from active rosters go through waivers after the season's trade deadline passes, even vested veterans like Stocker and Tapp.
There were no complementary moves announced for the 53-man roster or the practice squad, suggesting additional developments before the Buccaneers take the practice field on Wednesday afternoon. Some roster tweaking was likely necessitated by a rash of injuries suffered in Sunday's game in Atlanta.
Stocker first arrived in Tampa in 2011 as a fourth-round draft pick; the only players on the current roster who had been with the team longer were Demar Dotson and Gerald McCoy. Stocker played in 90 games with 57 starts in that span, recording 52 receptions for 400 yards and three touchdowns, though his primary strength was as a blocker. Stocker had been inactive the last two games as the team chose to play rookie tight end Antony Auclair.
Tapp has had an even longer NFL career, first joining the NFL in 2006 as a second-round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks. However, he had only been with the Buccaneers since October 25, appearing in three games with one start, contributing two tackles and one sack. Overall, Tapp has played 166 NFL games and started 39, recording 331 tackles and 29.0 sacks.
Rivers has had two separate stints on Tampa Bay's practice squad this season, the first one lasting two months before he was released in Week 11 and then re-signed last week. He had previously spent time with the Green Bay Packers and the New York Jets.