Bucs send Gay and Ogunbowale packing as they trim the roster to 53
As the Bucs prepare for the 2020 season, it was cut down at Buccaneer headquarters, and there were two big surprises among the cuts.
Kicker Matt Gay last year’s second-round pick from Utah was given his walking papers. The Bucs signed 11-year veteran Ryan Succop earlier in the week and elected to give the job to Succop. Succop has an 82.2 percent lifetime FG percentage.
This is the second time in the Jason Licht era that the Bucs have drafted a kicker in the second round, and the kicker has not delivered on game day.
Gay was inconsistent last year, costing the Buccaneers at least two games, and had consistency issues in training camp this year as well.
The Bucs will open 2020 with a new kicker for the ninth straight season. The Bucs have had 11 kickers since the 2010 season.
That is right up there with the number of starting quarterbacks the Cleveland Browns have had since their return to the league in 1999.
The Browns have had 30 starting quarterbacks since their return in 1999.
The Bucs also cut running Dare Ogunbowale. This was a bigger surprise then the Bucs cutting of Matt Gay.
Ogunbowale was very valuable to the Bucs as a third-down back and was a decent receiver out of the backfield.
Ogunbowale played a key role on the Bucs special teams and was also captain of the special teams.
With the signing of Leonard Fournette, someone had to go and that was Dare Ogunbowale. The Bucs will keep third-round pick Ke’Shawn Vaughan on the roster.
Vaughan got off to a late start in training camp due to being placed on the COVID list. When allowed to showcase his skills, Vaughan did not impress the coaching staff.
The Bucs felt in the end that Vaughan has more potential and upside than Ogunbowale.
The Bucs will go with four running backs on the roster. Ronald Jones will be the starter. LeSean McCoy, Leonard Fournette, and Ke’Shawn Vaughan will also see plenty of work in this offense.
The Bucs waived seventh-round pick, running back Ray Calais from Louisiana Lafayette.
In another move, the Bucs cut center Q.A. Shipley who they had just recently signed for offensive line depth.
Shipley may be brought back, as the roster manipulations will continue throughout the week.
In a move that was not much of a surprise, safety Justin Evans was placed on the injured reserve list PUP list. This move will give the Bucs time to evaluate whether Evans can be a contributor to the team.
The move also gives Evans a chance to continue to heal. Evans has not played since 2018.
Rookie cornerback Pernell Motley made the team. All Motley did was intercept Tom Brady twice in one practice, and left it all out on the field every practice.
Motley was limited in practice the last week but showed enough to the coaches to make the team.
Another roster surprise move, undrafted rookie receiver John Hurst made the team but will start on the IR.
Hurst missed the last week of practice with a hamstring injury, but his 4.42 speed was enough for the Bucs to take a chance on Hurst at the last receiver position.
Nine rookies make the roster for the 2020 Buccaneers. There are 15 players on the roster that did not play with the Bucs last season.
Other Buccaneer cuts included WR Cyril Grayson, WR Spencer Schnell, WR Josh Pearson, WR Bryant Mitchell, TE Tanner Hudson, TE Codey McElroy, OL Anthony Fabiano, OL Nick Leverett, OL Zack Bailey, DL Jeremiah Ledbetter, DL Benning Potoa’e, ILB Noah Dawkins, ILB Chapelle Russell, CB Herb Miller, CB Mazzi Wilkins, S D’Cota Dixon, S Javon Hagan, LB Michael Divinity, LB Kahzin Daniels, QB Reid Sinnett, Ol Zack Shackelford, OL Q.A. Shipley, K Matt Gay.