The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released tight end Luke Stocker today, the team announced. It’s not clear yet who will replace him on the roster.
Stocker had been inactive the past two games, with undrafted free agent and Canadian hopeful Antony Auclair replacing him on the roster. But Stocker’s days on the roster were basically counted when the Bucs drafted O.J. Howard in the first round, as he took on the role of being the team’s primary blocking tight end—and adding a receiving threat to boot.
Stocker, the Bucs’ fourth-round pick out of Tennessee in 2011, was almost exclusively a blocking tight end in his seven-year career. The veteran managed just 52 catches for 400 yards and three touchdowns in a total of 80 games. Despite being of very limited use in the passing game, he kept staying on the field because of his blocking prowess, and outlasted a lot of more highly touted tight ends.