Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Wide Variety of Moves Gets Bucs to 53

The Buccaneers placed RB Doug Martin on the reserve/suspended list, waived several dozen young players and released one veteran in Saturday's league-wide cuts.

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The "final" roster cuts in the NFL are never truly final, and they are rarely just about cuts.

On Saturday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made the necessary moves to get their roster down to the regular-season limit of 53, and that did include the waiver of several dozen players. However, the Bucs also placed one player on the reserve/suspended list (running back Doug Martin), released one vested veteran (long-snapper Garrison Sanborn) and waived/injured one player (quarterback Sefo Liufau).

These moves come a day after the Buccaneers began the roster reduction process by placing two players on injured reserve (defensive end DaVonte Lambert and defensive tackle Stevie Tu'ikolovatu) and releasing two other vested veterans (long-snapper Andrew DePaola and defensive end George Johnson).

Including those four moves on Friday, here is how the Buccaneers cut the roster from 90 to 53 players:

Waived:
DE Mehdi Abdesmad
G Josh Allen
DE Sterling Bailey
DE Tavaris Barnes
LB Richie Brown
LB Riley Bullough
CB Mariel Cooper
WR Donteea Dye
DE Hendrick Ekpe
RB Russell Hansbrough
CB Vernon Harris
G Jarvis Harrison
WR Shaq Hill
K Zach Hocker
WR Josh Huff
S Marqueston Huff
FB Austin Johnson
S Isaiah Johnson
T Korren Kirven
LB Jeff Knox
G Michael Liedtke
T Marquis Lucas
WR Freddie Martino
RB Jeremy McNichols
CB Jonathan Moxey
LB Eric Nzeocha *
CB Cody Riggs
G James Stone
WR Derel Walker
TE Tevin Westbrook
WR Bobo Wilson

* LB Eric Nzeocha is an international exception who allowed the Buccaneers to carry 91 players in training camp. He will spend the season on the Buccaneers' active roster.

Waived/Injured:

QB Sefo Liufau

Released (Vested Veteran):

LS Andrew DePaola
DE George Johnson
LS Garrison Sanborn

Placed on Injured Reserve:

DE DaVonte Lambert
DT Stevie Tu'ikolovatu

Placed on Reserve/Suspended List:

RB Doug Martin

Players who have accrued fewer than four seasons of free agency credit are subject to the waiver wire. Those players can be claimed by other teams in the next 24 hours. If they are not claimed, they become free agents and could return to the Buccaneers, perhaps as part of the practice squad. Vested veterans become free agents as soon as they are released.

Most players who land on injured reserve remain out for the entire season. Each team in the NFL is given two "return-from-IR" options during the season; however, a player must be moved to IR after the cut to 53 in order to be eligible for that option. Players have to be on injured reserve for at least eight weeks before they can return to the active roster.

Players on the reserve/PUP list can return after missing six weeks. They have a three-week window in which to practice with the team without counting against the 53-man roster; at some point they must be added to that roster, released or moved to injured reserve for the rest of the season.

Martin is finishing a four-game suspension he started at the end of the 2016 season. He will be eligible to return after the first three weeks of the 2017 regular season.

McNichols was the only member of the Buccaneers' 2017 draft class to be waived. Tu'ikolovatu was put on the IR list but first-round tight end O.J. Howard, second-round safety Justin Evans, third-round wide receiver Chris Godwin and third-round linebacker Kendell Beckwith all remain on the 53-man roster.

Somewhere in the vicinity of 1,000-1,100 players hit the waiver wire on Saturday evening. Though it will vary from city to city, some teams will be churning the back end of their rosters on Sunday, claiming players off waivers to shore up certain positions. Each team will also begin forming a 10-man practice squad on Sunday.

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