Bucs release veteran WR Hawkins
Three days before the Bucs' third preseason game, the team has gotten a jump on next week's required cuts, releasing veteran receiver Lavelle Hawkins, who caught a touchdown in the final minute of Saturday's loss to Miami.
Hawkins, who had played for offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford at Cal, has lasted in the NFL by contributing on special teams, and he said Tuesday that he wasn't working on any of the Bucs' special-teams units. By cutting him early, the Bucs give Hawkins a better chance to latch on with another team and show something before next week's final cuts.
NFL teams must cut their rosters on Tuesday afternoon from 90 to 75 players, and then on Aug. 30 to the final cut of 53 players, with another 10 spots available on practice squads.
With Hawkins' release, the Bucs have 10 receivers on roster, likely competing for six spots on the final roster. Lovie Smith has identified Vincent Jackson, rookie Mike Evans and Chris Owusu as players he considers as starters, and if rookie Solomon Patton wins the returns jobs, that would leave six receivers -- rookie Robert Herron, Louis Murphy, Tommy Streeter, Russell Shepard, Eric Page and Skye Dawson -- competing for what is likely two jobs on the active roster.