Bucs make cuts to reach initial 53-man roster
The Bucs will wait until Saturday afternoon to announce their final 22 cuts to reach their initial 53-man roster -- and that list could certainly change if the Bucs claim players waived by other teams -- but here, position by position, is a breakdown of who made and missed the cut.
QUARTERBACK: The Bucs are carrying three QBs again, with Jameis Winston as starter, Mike Glennon and Ryan Griffin as a No. 3, grooming him to the backup in 2017 after Glennon has a chance to leave as an unrestricted free agent next spring. No cuts were made.
RUNNING BACK: The Bucs will carry only three running backs, with Doug Martin and Charles Sims as the top two backs and fourth-year pro Mike James edging rookie Peyton Barber for the third spot. Barber is a candidate for the practice squad if he isn't claimed by another team. Rookie Russell Hansbrough was also cut.
WIDE RECEIVER: The Bucs saw Bernard Reedy (knee) and Kenny Bell (concussion) injured in Wednesday's game, which helped Evan Spencer make the final cut as a fifth receiver. Tampa Bay will have Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, Adam Humphries, Russell Shepard and Spencer as their five, with Reedy, Bell, Freddie Martino and Jonathan Krause not making the cut. Louis Murphy is on the PUP list and can join the team in late October.
TIGHT END: Perhaps the biggest surprise here -- the Bucs are carrying five tight ends, but draft pick Danny Vitale isn't one of them. Undrafted rookie Alan Cross makes the cut, as does veteran Brandon Myers, along with Cameron Brate, Luke Stocker and Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
OFFENSIVE LINE: The Bucs are carrying nine offensive linemen, plus J.R. Sweezy on the PUP list to start the season. You have a starting line of Donovan Smith, Kevin Pamphile, Joe Hawley, Ali Marpet and Demar Dotson, along with veteran backups Evan Smith and Gosder Cherilus. Two rookies made the cut as backups, in draft pick Caleb Benenoch at guard and undrafted rookie Leonard Wester at tackle. Missing the cut were Josh Allen, Ben Gottschalk, Kelvin Palmer and Kyler Kerbyson.
DEFENSIVE LINE: The Bucs will open the year with 10 defensive linemen, including three rookies. They'll carry six ends, with undrafted rookie Channing Ward beating out Kourtnei Brown for the sixth spot. You have Robert Ayers, Will Gholston, Noah Spence, Jacquies Smith, Howard Jones and Ward at end, with four defensive tackles: Gerald McCoy, Clinton McDonald, Akeem Spence and undrafted rookie DaVonte Lambert. Missing the cut were veteran DTs Cliff Matthews and A.J. Francis.
LINEBACKERS: The Bucs are carrying only five linebackers -- reflective of a lean toward a nickel primary defense with only two LBs on the field. You have starters Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander and Daryl Smith, with backup jobs going to draft pick Devante Bond and special-teams player Adarius Glanton. Undrafted rookie Luke Rhodes missed the cut despite 17 tackles in the preseason, and the Bucs would hope he goes unclaimed and can return on the practice squad. Josh Keyes and Jeremiah George also missed the cut, as well as rookie Micah Awe.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: The Bucs will carry 10 defensive backs -- six cornerbacks in Vernon Hargreaves, Brent Grimes, Alterraun Verner, Jude Adjei-Barimah, Johnthan Banks and Josh Robinson. They'll also carry four safeties in Chris Conte, Bradley McDougald, Keith Tandy and draft pick Ryan Smith. Missing the cut were rookies Javien Elliott and Isaiah Johnson, who both could end up on practice squad.
SPECIALISTS: No surprises here -- Roberto Aguayo is the kicker, Bryan Anger is the punter and Andrew DePaola is the long-snapper.