Fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been anxiously waiting to see if they’re favorite team was going to make some roster moves on a once promising defensive unit. On Wednesday, they got some movement, although it isn’t likely what they expected or hoped for.
The Bucs released veteran ‘money backer’ Deone Bucannon early Wednesday, and subsequently added linebacker Noah Dawkins from the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad.
Bucannon joined the Buccaneers this off-season reuniting with Bruce Arians as they looked to recreate the success they enjoyed in Arizona in years past.
As a first round draft pick in 2014, Bucannon spent the first five years of his career with the Cardinals before coming to Tampa Bay this off-season.
To replace Bucannon, the Bucs brought in linebacker Noah Dawkins who has been with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free-agent out of The Citadel.
Others have speculated Bucannon - who had three tackles with Tampa Bay through five games - will likely get a shot to make a roster elsewhere, and I’m inclined to agree. Meanwhile, Dawkins will bring some more youth to a linebacker group charged with helping get the defensive unit back up towards the middle of the pack, league wide.
Dawkins is listed as 6’1 235 lbs on NFL.com, and ran a 4.41 40-yard dash at The Citadel’s Pro Day despite tweaking his hamstring during the run. A review of his pro day in May compared his size to NFL linebacker Shaquem Griffin and Ben Burr-Kirven.
He’s not the smallest linebacker in the league, but still his size is considered to be on the low side.
While the fan base will continue to hold out hope for a bigger splash from Jason Licht and the Tampa Bay front office, this move shows for now the team is not happily settling for what has been a declining defense, and are turning over every stone in an attempt to get better.