TAMPA — The Bucs were not expected to announce their moves until this afternoon, but players were notified Friday morning, with 22 cut loose to bring Tampa Bay to its 53-player roster.
The Bucs could be active Sunday in claiming players waived by other teams. Here are the highlights of their decisions made Friday:
• Five tight ends were kept, but 2016 sixth-round draft pick Danny Vitale wasn't one of them, getting cut as the team opted to keep veteran Brandon Myers and Alan Cross, one of four undrafted rookies on the initial roster. The Bucs will use many two-tight-end sets, keeping as many tight ends as receivers. Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins was neither traded nor cut and was on the roster.
• Evan Spencer won the No. 5 receiver spot, after Lakewood High's Bernard Reedy had a knee injury requiring surgery and Kenny Bell got a concussion in Wednesday's preseason finale against the Redskins. Special teams ace Russell Shepard is back as the No. 4 receiver.
• The team is carrying as many quarterbacks, three, as running backs, with Mike James kept as a No. 3 back, edging rookie Peyton Barber. Ryan Griffin will stick as a third quarterback, to be groomed as a backup in 2017, when Mike Glennon is likely gone via free agency.
• Veterans Johnthan Banks and Josh Robinson made the cut in the secondary, where the team carried six defensive backs, keeping depth with plenty of nickel defense expected this season.
• Only five linebackers, however, were kept with undrafted rookie Luke Rhodes getting cut despite piling up 17 tackles in the preseason. Adarius Glanton, a special teams player last year, earned the final backup spot as four others were waived.
Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.