Bucs drop QB Smith, add more big TE/WR targets
TAMPA -- Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith, the only passer in Bucs rookie minicamp last week as an undrafted rookie, was among three players waived Wednesday as the team added four players.
As reported Tuesday, the Bucs added former Cowboys and Browns quarterback Alex Tanney, along with three undrafted rookies who bring even more height to the passing game: Harvard TE Cameron Brate (6-foot-5), Louisiana-Lafayette TE Ian Thompson (6-4) and N.C. State receiver Quintin Payton (6-4). To make room on the roster, the team also waived defensive tackle David Hunter and punter Jacob Schum, both signed as street free agents this spring.
Payton was Bucs quarterback Mike Glennon's top receiver in 2012 for the Wolfpack, leading the team with 51 catches for 798 yards. He scored only two touchdowns, and had 23 catches for 481 yards and three scores in 2013. Payton joins an already deep Bucs receiving corps, with 13 players battling for what will likely be five roster spots.
Thompson has good size at 6-4, 252 pounds, but wasn't a prolific pass-catcher for the Ragin' Cajuns. He had 10 catches for 66 yards as a senior, finishing his college career with 36 catches for 284 yards and zero touchdowns. He's one of six tight ends on roster, challenging veteran Luke Stocker for a roster spot if the Bucs carry a fourth tight end.
Tanney, reported as a new arrival Tuesday night, set an NCAA record for passing yards and touchdowns while at Division III Monmouth College, where he threw for 14,249 yards and 157 touchdowns against only 30 interceptions. He'll be competing with veteran Mike Kafka for the No. 3 quarterback job, though the team could end up carrying only two passers in Josh McCown and Glennon.
Brate, who graduates from Harvard on Thursday with an economics degree, led the Crimson with five touchdowns last fall, finishing with 25 catches for 403 yards as a senior.
With Wednesday's additions, the Bucs now have nine pass-catchers -- five tight ends and four receivers -- who are listed at 6-foot-4 or taller on the 90-man roster.