The Buccaneers cut a handful of players Monday as they worked to finalize their roster.
The initial five consisted wide receiver Jerreth Sterns, guard Sadarius Hutcherson, edge rusher Andre Anthony, cornerback Kyler McMichael and safety Chris Cooper, per The Athletic’s Greg Auman.
Unless they're making moves tonight, a quiet Monday for Bucs, with just four confirmed cuts so far: WR Jerreth Sterns, CB Kyler McMichael, OLB Andre Anthony and G Sadarius Hutcherson. Less than 24 hours now to Tuesday's 4 p.m. roster cutdown deadline.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) August 29, 2022
Bucs have waived safety Chris Cooper, who made last year's initial roster but spent the season on practice squad. Good special-teams player, could be back on practice squad.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) August 29, 2022
The most surprising seems to be Sterns, an undrafted rookie out of Western Kentucky who led the nation in catches, yards and touchdowns last year. He reportedly impressed throughout camp and put up a standout performance against the Miami Dolphins in the preseason opener (4 catches for 51 yards and a touchdown).
He was much quieter the last two games, and the receiver logjam was very real for Tampa. He has a good chance to land back on the practice squad if he goes unclaimed.
Anthony is arguably the highest profile cut thus far. The seventh round pick out of LSU started camp off quietly but made a bigger impression the last two weeks, recording a sack in back-to-back outings. He’ll also more than likely end up on the PS.
The return of the others is more of a tossup. McMichael has decent shot, but he was clearly far behind other corners like Dee Delaney and Don Gardner. Cooper lived on the practice squad last year, but the Bucs still have Nolan Turner — who has looked strong on defense and special teams as a potential fifth safety.
Hutcherson missed all of 2021 with an injury and looked unexceptional throughout the preseason, often coming in at the very end of games. While Tampa’s depth on the line is unsettled right now, they might seek a higher profile name to bring in before inviting back Hutcherson.
The Bucs must cut 22 more players before the 4 p.m. deadline Tuesday.