Bucs trim roster to 53, Spence and Ellington among the cuts
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut the roster to the 53 man limit and there were a few surprises among the cuts.
Linebacker Noah Spence was given his walking papers as he never was the same player after his shoulder injury. Spence the Bucs 2016 second round pick was given plenty of opportunity to make the team playing nearly 100 percent of the snaps against Cleveland. But it was his lack of productivity and lack of making plays that cost him a roster spot.
Running back Andre Ellington was also cut by the Bucs. Many thought Ellington would get The nod as the number three back due to his prior working relationship with Bruce Arians in Arizona.
The Bucs decided to keep only three backs instead, and Dare Ogunbowale got the nod over Ellington.
Offensive line depth continues to be an issue for the Bucs. Yesterday the Bucs made a trade with the Steelers acquiring offensive linemen Jerald Hawkins for a 2020 draft pick. Hawkins will add depth to the left tackle position.
The Bucs also opted to keep four tight ends on the roster as Antony Auclair gets a spot along with Tanner Hudson behind OJ Howard and Cameron Brate.
With the defense the Bucs will play under Todd Bowles, only six defensive linemen made the roster as Terry Beckner and Jeremiah Ledbetter were the odd men out.
Ledbetter could find his way onto the practice squad as he had some nice moments during the pre-season.
The Bucs kept nine linebackers opting to keep Demone Harris over Noah Spence. Harris kept getting better and making plays when given opportunities so he gets the last linebacker spot.
No surprise that the Bucs went with Matt Gay over Cairo Santos. With the lack of reliable kicking around the NFL, it was somewhat surprising that the Bucs couldn’t work out a trade involving Santos with another team.
Linebacker Lavonte David will be back at practice this week as he should be ready to go next week. Defensive tackle Vita Vea is 50/50 right now and may come down to a game time decision.
Placed on the non football injury list was linebacker Jason Pierre Paul. He will have to miss the first six games of the season, and then there will be a 21 day window in which Pierr-Paul can practice and a determination will be made as to whether or not he will be able to play this season.
If he cannot play then he will be placed on the IR for the rest of the season.
Cornerback Ryan Smith was placed on the reserve/suspended list. Smith will miss the first four games of the season.
With the roster set, preparations will continue for the San Francisco 49ers whom the Bucs will face in their home opener next weekend.
One interesting stat from the pre-season, The Bucs defense against the run, which was non existent last season scored an 81.0 according to Pro Football Focus which was the third best in the NFL this pre-season.
Last season, the Bucs finished with an overall grade of 61.0 the lowest in the NFL.
Our Tampa Bay Buccaneer season preview will be up on Wednesday and every Friday we will preview the Buccaneers opponent before every game.
Let’s get ready to Fire the Cannons. Go Bucs.