The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released 11 players on Sunday, beginning a week-long process of reducing their roster to the regular-season limit of 53.
The following players, seven of whom were rookies or first-year veterans, were waived:
- DT Travis Britz
- CB Daniel Davie
- WR Andre Davis
- T Taylor Fallin
- LB Jeremiah George
- DE Martin Ifedi
- RB Storm Johnson
- DT Ishmaa'ily Kitchen
- S Kimario McFadden
- P Jacob Schum
- TE Tevin Westbrook
The following player, as a vested veteran, was released and is not subject to the waiver wire:
- S Major Wright
All NFL teams are required to cut their rosters to 75 players by Tuesday and then to 53 on Saturday, with a final preseason game played between those two dates. As a practical matter, teams usually begin that first round of cuts on the weekend, prior to starting practice up again on Monday. The Buccaneers' moves on Sunday left them with two more cuts to make by Tuesday, as they entered the weekend with 89 players.
On Saturday, Head Coach Dirk Koetter said he was not looking forward to the process of trimming the roster by nearly 40 players.
"I'm anxiously looking forward to the season starting, but the guys we have here, they've given us what we've asked them to," said Koetter. "They've worked hard but this is a business so we're going to have to say goodbye to a few guys this week and by the end of the week, a few more, so that's not the fun part, by any means."
While the first round of cuts is generally comprised of players at the back end of the depth chart, the Buccaneers must also take into account their lineup needs for the preseason finale against Washington on Thursday. Since most of the team's starters will play sparingly in that game, if at all, the Bucs had to maintain a certain level of depth at every position to be able to handle all of Thursday's snaps. As an example, Fallin was the only one of the team's 15 offensive linemen waived on Sunday, in part because that unit is dealing with several minor injuries.
Sunday's cuts included four players who were on the Buccaneers' active roster for at least one game last season: George, McFadden, Schum and Westbrook. Schum handled all of Tampa Bay's punting duties in 2015 but he entered training camp in a battle for that job with free agent acquisition Bryan Anger. Both Schum and Anger have performed well during the preseason, with net punting averages of 39.5 and 44.1, respectively, and a combined six punts inside the 20 with no touchbacks. Anger has put up the superior gross average, at 48.7 yards per kick.