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Buccaneers lose Russell Shepard to Panthers

Oakland Raiders v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are about to lose special teamer/wide receiver Russell Shepard to the Carolina Panthers. That’s per Pewter Report, Ian Rapoport, the Charlotte Observer and a few other outlets — though the deal hasn’t officially been announced yet.

Shepard was a quarterback in college at LSU, but came into the league as a wide receiver and special teamer. He’s been dominant in the latter role for the Bucs the past four years, and developed impressively as a receiver the past two years despite very limited opportunities at the position.

Those limited opportunities are probably why Shepard is moving to Carolina. The Bucs wanted to keep him, but did not see him anything better than a number four receiver, behind Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries. The Panthers can use him as a number three.

With Shepard leaving, the Bucs mostly need to find someone to replace him as a special teamer — and it leaves some room for a mid-round draft selection at receiver. As for the special teams replacement: look for them to re-sign cornerback Josh Robinson, who played well last year both on special teams and as a fourth/fifth cornerback.