Here’s three somewhat unexpected roster cuts by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: running back and fifth-round pick Jeremy McNichols, linebacker and Hard Knocks star Riley Bullough, and wide receiver/returner Josh Huff. Per Mike Garafolo, Adam Schefter and Aaron Wilson, respectively.
Of these, Josh Huff is the least unexpected: he had a lot of competition at wide receiver, has some unresolved legal issues that could end in a suspension down the line, and was a mess as a return guy last year. He has some explosiveness, but the Bucs don’t want to risk it, apparently.
McNichols and Bullough are less expected, though. McNichols was the Bucs’ fifth-round pick this year, billed as a long-term successor to Charles Sims and perhaps to compensate for the expected loss of Doug Martin. But Martin’s done surprisingly well this offseason and will almost certainly hang around for at least this season, while McNichols really struggled with his assignments, especially as a blocker—not good as a prospective third-down back. McNichols is likely to get a chance on the practice squad, if he passes through waivers.
Bullough’s release was a little predictable, but also unexpected—depending on how much stock you put into Hard Knocks. There, he stood out and was even singled out by Dirk Koetter for his vocal leadership. But he didn’t stand out so much in the actual preseason games, and being loud will only get you so far in the NFL.
Check out our roster cuts tracker as we keep up with the rest of the Bucs’ moves.