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Buccaneers start roster cuts with Cliff Matthews

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are starting their roster cuts down to a 53-man roster a little early, immediately after last night's game. According to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, the first cut is defensive tackle Cliff Matthews.

Matthews being cut is a bit of a surprise, given that he was starting last night. That appeared to be a sign that he'd be the Bucs' fourth defensive tackle, behind Akeem Spence, Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald, but the Bucs may be keeping three defensive tackles instead. If that's the case, they could use William Gholston and Robert Ayers inside, especially on passing downs.

Alternatively, the Bucs could keep one of the other defensive tackles who are on the roster bubble. A.J. Francis is the most likely candidate at that point, though none of those defensive tackles played well last night or stood out throughout the preseason.

The Bucs need to cut 21 more players before Saturday, 4:00 p.m. The Bucs won't officially announce those cuts until the very final deadline, but they'll probably be reported before that. Stick with us to get all the updates on those cuts.