Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Adds Fullback

The Bucs take less than a day to bring in James Waerig to fill the roster spot vacated by Jim Kitts on Monday


FB John Waerig started for two seasons at tight end for Maryland

It is still nearly a month until the first league-mandated roster cuts in the NFL, but that doesn't mean there will be no roster movement over the coming weeks. When roster moves do occur during training camp, they happen rapidly, as teams are eager to get new players on the field as quickly as possible.

Case in point: the Buccaneers waived FB Jim Kitts on Monday afternoon to take their roster down to 87 players, one below the team's limit. By Tuesday morning, the team was back to 88 players in time for the third practice of camp. That was due to the swift work of the team's player personnel department, which had located and contacted a desired replacement for Kitts before Monday was over.

That replacement is rookie John Waerig, a rookie out of Maryland who was briefly with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Waerig signed a one-year contract with the Buccaneers and was on the field for Tuesday's two practices, wearing jersey number 48.

Waerig originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Jaguars in April, but was released in June. In two seasons at Maryland, Waerig started every game at tight end and tallied 26 receptions for 311 yards and one touchdown. His Terrapins coach, Ron Vanderlinden, called Waerig 'the best blocking tight end in the ACC, bar none.'

Before transferring to Maryland, Waerig played one season at the University of Wisconsin as a fullback. That will be the position he lines up at for the Buccaneers and, despite his late arrival to the team, he is one of only three players listed at that position, behind Mike Alstott and Kevin McLeod.

The Bucs can carry up to 88 signed players in training camp thanks to eight NFL Europe League exemptions. That number must be pared to 65 on August 22 and the final number of 53 on August 27.

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