Whoever said the first cut is the deepest obviously never tried to make an NFL roster. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers trimmed their roster down to 53 players to comply with league rules. The roster moves have actually brought the number of current Buccaneers to 52. There has been much speculation about who would be kept and who would be released however we now know who our team will be, sort of. Although we did cut to 52 players today, our roster is likely to look just a little different come opening day. But for now here is the complete list of players released/cut by the Bucs:
QB Brett Ratliff, WR Jordan Shipley, WR Tiquan Underwood, WR Landon Cox, RB Mossis Madu, RB Robert Hughes, FB Cody Johnson, TE Drake Dunsmore, TE Zack Pianalto, T Jermarcus Hardrick, G Desmond Wynn, C Moe Petrus, K Kai Forbath
Most of these were expected however we did receive a few shockers early in the day. We found out that Okoye was released via injury settlement. (He intends to re-sign with the Chicago Bears) Also, a fan favorite and someone who many on this site, myself included, were really pulling for Tiquan Underwood was waived.
After looking a little deeper we notice a few things. The first is that we have absolutely NO depth on the defensive line. Look for that to change in the coming days as the Buccaneers will look to bring in some waiver wire casualties for depth. Also notice how the Bucs are keeping, as of right now, 12 defensive backs. Myron Lewis, Leonard Johnson and Brandon McDonald are all still with the team at this hour. Also now more than ever we have to realize that draft status matters. Although they showed little in the pre-season, both Keith Tandy and Najee Goode made the roster.
On offense the Bucs decided to carry only 5 wide receivers, 3 running backs and 2 quarterbacks. I wouldn’t look for that to change much. The coaching staff feels pretty comfortable with what they have right now. On the offensive line the Bucs are a little heavy at the tackle position keeping 5 players including Bradley Sowell, and undrafted free agent out of Mississippi. We’ve only got 3 guards listed on the roster with one center.
One of the bigger surprises is the tight end situation. The Buccaneers have Dallas Clark listed as their top tight end with Luke Stocker 2nd, and the dark horse contender to make the roster, Danny Noble taking the last spot. This is yet another indication that head coach Greg Schiano really values versatility. Noble certainly has plenty of that. I’m excited to see what he’s going to bring to the table!
So there we are Bucs Nation. Your 2012 roster has been trimmed to 52. The regular season is looming and it's just about time to fire those cannons. Bring on Cam! A new day is rising!