The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were awarded former Bengals receiver Jordan Shipley on Monday after they put in a claim for him on the waiver wire. Shipley, a standout WR at the University of Texas, was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Bengals. He hasn't made much of a splash in the NFL thus far, catching 52 passes for 600 yards and three touchdowns during his rookie year. Last year, his season ended in week two after he received a nightmarish knee injury in which he tore both his ACL and MCL.
Shipley will enter an already ferocious battle for a roster spot at the wide receiver position. He will join the likes of Preston Parker, Ed Gant, Arrelious Benn, Tiquan Underwood, and Sammie Stroughter in their attempt to make it onto the final 53. We already knew the coaching staff wasn't quite happy with the current field of players and were looking to add some more depth when they attempted to land Olympian Jeff Demps last week.
It's unclear how healed Shipley's knee is, as he failed to impress in the Bengals' camp. Is he healed and just not that good of a player? Or is he still healing and they didn't have the patience to bring him along while wasting a roster spot?
Here's a link to an article describing the reasons for Shipley's release on Cincy Jungle (SB Nation's Bengals' blog).
From the linked article:
After suffering an ACL injury last season, Shipley spent the offseason rehabilitating and when he eventually returned during the preseason, he struggled to get shake the rust, while Andrew Hawkins was continued his rising superstar status on the team's depth chart. Through two games Shipley was often buried as the team's slot receiver, making his first entrance late in each game. He was only targeted twice in two games, with one reception. It became painfully obvious that Shipley's chances of making the team were shrinking. After the team announced his release, Joe Reedy tweets that he "saw Shipley walking to the bus last night with a huge icepack on his knee. The knee was not responding."
If the Bucs decide Shipley is just rusty and have the patience to bring him along, he could very well turn out to be a better option in the slot than either Preston Parker or Sammie Stroughter. The question is whether or not they deem him worth the risk. Either way, he's definitely worth taking a shot on before they're forced to make roster cuts so they can make an educated decision.
UPDATE: According to Rick Stroud, the Buccaneers waived WR Wallace Wright to make room for Jordan Shipley.