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Bucs signing former first-rounder Josh Rosen to practice squad

The NFL Network reports that Tampa Bay will be the 23-year-old’s third organization in as many years. Also, Leonard Fournette is officially a Buc.
Josh Rosen stretches during an NFL football training camp practice in Davie with Dolphins, who cut him on Saturday. Now he has landed with the Bucs.
Josh Rosen stretches during an NFL football training camp practice in Davie with Dolphins, who cut him on Saturday. Now he has landed with the Bucs. [ JOEL AUERBACH | AP ]
Published Sep. 6, 2020|Updated Sep. 6, 2020

TAMPA — The Bucs continued to add to their inventory of players, signing quarterback Josh Rosen to the team’s practice squad Sunday.

Since he is coming from another team, Rosen has to complete COVID-19 protocols before the deal becomes official. There is one open spot on the practice squad roster, presumably for him.

The Bucs will be the third organization in as many years for Rosen. The Cardinals took him 10th overall out of UCLA in 2018, then traded him to the Dolphins before last season. Miami cut Rosen on Saturday, opting to go without a third quarterback on their active roster, then he cleared waivers on Sunday, becoming a free agent.

The NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo first reported the move on Twitter.

Rosen, just 23, will have something he didn’t have in his previous stops: the opportunity to learn under six-time Super Bowl champion and future Hall of Famer Tom Brady.

While everything the Bucs have done in recent weeks focuses on 2020, this move makes sense for the team’s future because they don’t currently have a quarterback-in-waiting for when Brady’s contract ends following the 2021 season.

Rosen had the opportunity to be on the active roster with another team, according to the NFL Network, but decided Tampa Bay would be the best fit.

With the Bucs, Rosen not only will get to work with Brady, but have an offensive-minded head coach like Bruce Arians and be reunited with Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, who coached Rosen as a rookie in Arizona in 2018.

Josh Rosen took his lumps as a rookie in Arizona in 2018. Here he's being sacked by Shaquil Barrett, the former Broncos outside linebacker who became the NFL's sack king last year with the Bucs.
Josh Rosen took his lumps as a rookie in Arizona in 2018. Here he's being sacked by Shaquil Barrett, the former Broncos outside linebacker who became the NFL's sack king last year with the Bucs. [ RICK SCUTERI | AP ]

A spot on the practice squad also allows Rosen some maneuverability to join another team. While teams can now designate four practice squad players to protect each week, players can sign with other teams after Sunday’s games until 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Because of relaxed practice squad eligibility rules, teams can use up to six spots without any service time restrictions.

Related: Roster cuts are just part of Bucs’ transition to regular-season mode

Reports out of South Florida were that Rosen was having a strong training camp, though without preseason games, that progress couldn’t be evaluated in a live action setting. Last season, he played just six games for the Dolphins, completed 53.2 percent of his passes and had just one touchdown pass and five interceptions as former Buccaneer Ryan Fitzpatrick held down the starting role most of the season.

Still, some think that Rosen never truly has had the opportunity to develop and succeed. This is a fact: he has never played for a winner. The Cardinals were 3-13 his rookie season and the Dolphins were 5-11. If the Bucs meet the lofty expectations placed on them by the addition of Brady, Rosen will be in a winning environment for the first time in his career.

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While on a lesser scale, the addition of Rosen is the latest of several moves the Bucs have made to acquire players with NFL experience to surround Brady. That list includes the trade for Brady’s favorite target, tight end Rob Gronkowski, as well as running backs LeSean McCoy and Leonard Fournette.

Related: ‘He’ll fit right in’: Arians confident in Leonard Fournette’s chemistry with Bucs

The Bucs currently are carrying three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster: Brady, Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin. Their fourth quarterback in camp, undrafted free-agent Reid Sinnett, was cut but joined the practice squad.

In fact, the Bucs signed all of the players they cut Saturday to the practice squad: offensive guard Zack Bailey, running back Raymond Calais, safety D’Cota Dixon, wide receiver Cyril Grayson, safety Javon Hagan, tight end Tanner Hudson, defensive lineman Jeremiah Ledbetter, offensive guard Nick Leverett, cornerback Herb Miller, wide receiver Josh Pearson, defensive lineman Benning Potoa’e, inside linebacker Chapelle Russell, center Zach Shackelford, cornerback Mazzi Wilkins and Sinnett.

The team’s signing of Fournette also became official Sunday, meaning he completed COVID-19 protocols and can practice Tuesday when the team begins their game-week preparation for Sunday’s regular-season opener in New Orleans.

The Bucs placed two rookies — wide receiver John Hurst and guard John Molchon — on injured reserve, making room for Fournette and veteran center A.Q. Shipley, who was temporarily released Saturday.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@tampabay.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.

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