In a surprising move, the Buccaneers announced on Tuesday that they have waived punt returner Jaelon Darden among other roster moves as well.
We've waived WR Jaelon Darden from the active roster & released T Dylan Cook and CB Ryan Smith from the practice squad.— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) December 6, 2022
Darden, 23, was the Buccaneers’ fourth round pick in 2021. They traded up to grab him in the draft, so certainly a disappointment that he could not stick around. He was their primary punt returner and was actually the NFL leader in punts and punt return yards.
Darden has had an OK year returning punts, but he has not been consistent enough and has not made much of an impact at all at receiver, only having eight career catches for 69 yards and no touchdowns.
Tampa Bay will now have a new punt returner this Sunday when they travel to San Francisco to face off against the 49ers.