The final episode of the 2017 season of Hard Knocks aired last night, and it was a doozy. The HBO show always ends with final roster cuts: a brutal but essential part of any NFL training camp, including that of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
There weren't many huge surprises on roster cuts day for the Bucs, but that wasn't exactly comforting for those who did get cut. Two of those moments stood out, though: Bobo Wilson's, and Jeremy McNichols—and not for good reasons.
In Wilson's case, he was cut but the team wanted to keep him on the practice squad—only to find out he'd already flown back to Miami, despite having been told to stay in town. General manager Jason Licht was not happy about that, but talent trumps rule-following in the NFL. If Wilson wants to succeed in the NFL, he's going to have to start following the rules a little more, though—especially because Licht made it sound like this was a recurring thing.
As for McNichols, he stood out for being the first 2017 draft pick to get cut—and for declining a spot on the Bucs’ practice squad, in favor of one with the San Francisco 49ers. That sort of thing happens all the time, really, especially when a player has a sense he has a better chance of making it with a different team. They don't get a choice in the draft, after all.
Jason Licht mostly sounded like a spurned lover rationalizing the breakup as a good thing, when told McNichols was moving across the country, though.
“McNichols got his feelings hurt,” the general manager said. “If he’s going to mope and complain about being taken out of the game, when he just made a mistake. I mean, we don’t want that kind of sh** anyway.”
I dunno, Licht. If you really wanted to keep him, you should have not cut him, or offered him a better deal with the Bucs’ practice squad. You can't really bad at someone for looking elsewhere after you told him you didn't want him on the roster.