The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the rest of the NFL teams had to trim the rosters to 53 players yesterday by 4:00 PM. This equates to a large selection of players out there and another round of free agency, almost. The waiver wire becomes a huge factor and the Buccaneers are in a decent spot to take advantage.
How It Works
All players cut from their team over the last two days who have less than four seasons credited to them are all compiled as a waiver eligible players. Players like Jachai Polite, who was drafted this year, are all on the waiver wire. Teams have until noon today, September first, to put in their claims on the waiver players. Each team can put in as many claims on players as they want. The order of teams is set much like the draft. The team with the worst record has first claim while the Super Bowl winners have the last. This leaves the Buccaneers in a good spot to take advantage of waivers while they hold the fifth selection.
This pecking order will remain in effect until the third week of the season when it shifts to reflect current standings. If a player is not claimed then they become free agents and can sign anywhere.
Players with more than four seasons credited are free agents. For example, we saw LeSean McCoy get released from the Bills and sign with the Chiefs yesterday. Sorry Buccaneers fans we are not getting McCoy.
The Practice Squad
Each team can carry 10 additional players that do not count towards the 53 man roster. These players must pass through the wavier wire process if they are to remain with the team. The catch here is that players who pass through waivers can sign anywhere, not necessarily with the team they spent camp with. A great example of this was when running back Jeremy McNichols decided to sign with the 49ers.
Today the Buccaneers are keeping an eye on the players they cut in hopes of them clearing the wavier wire. Some players like running back Bruce Anderson and defensive lineman Terry Beckner are solid candidates to return via the practice squad if they are not claimed by another team.
Last season we saw Jason Licht pull the trigger on claiming Carl Nassib. Nassib played a key piece in the defense and set career highs in sacks and tackles for loss last year. He was a wavier wire claim after the Browns released him. Could there be another gem for Licht to pick up? There are some notable players who were released and could be targeted.
Four Targets for the Trenches
Offensive lineman Joshua Garnett was released by the 49ers yesterday. Once considered an up and coming player Garnett played in 15 games his rookie season, starting 11 of them. The problem, for the former first-rounder, has been injuries. He has not been able to consistently play and practice in order to hone his skills. Could he do it in Tampa?
Guard Alex Bars is an intriguing player. The Notre Dame player went undrafted in the 2019 draft. He posses the size and strength for the NFL but needs work on his technique. He could provide depth with a heavy influence from the coaching staff.
Defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard. The Florida product is a 2016 third-round selection by the Bears. He would miss only two games over the last three seasons. He started in five games. Over three years he has amassed two sacks, four pass deflections, and 62 combined tackles. Coming back to Florida could resurrect his career.
Defensive lineman Jachai Polite. Probably the most intriguing and most desired player released yesterday. The third-round pick from Florida has the potential to be a great player. Prior to the draft, some projected him to be a first-round pick. Then the combine results, poor interviews, and some maturity issues dropped him down to the third round. Now after a poor training camp and pre-season, he finds himself in limbo. Lots of fans are clamoring for his name to come up as a Buccaneers’ selection today. Will it happen?
At noon today, we will find out if the Buccaneers find themselves any new players.