The Buccaneers took full advantage of their top waiver wire position as they claimed five different players on Sunday. During those acquisitions, the Bucs also had to release five of their own players including fan favorite Rannell Hall.
DE Kourtnei Brown (from Houston)
LB Jeremiah George (from Jacksonville)
QB Ryan Griffin (from New Orleans)
LB James-Michael Johnson (from Kansas City)
C Eric Kush (from Kansas City)
TE Cameron Brate
G Kadeem Edwards
T Reid Fragel
WR Rannell Hall
LB Jason Williams
Ironically for the Bucs, they are a team that needs to improve along their offensive line, and they signed one backup interior lineman, while releasing two of their own. One of the offensive linemen the Bucs waived, Reid Fragel, was the Bucs starting right tackle for a majority of the preseason after Demar Dotson got injured. Lovie Smith has said chemistry along the offensive line isn't as important as trying out different groups of players.
“In an ideal world, you would like to have all five guys together through training camp, through the preseason," Lovie Smith said. "I really judge it more on getting in position and looking at a lot of different combinations in the preseason, but it’s about the regular season. To me, I would be disappointed if we are having to rotate guys once the regular season starts, but right now we’re still on pace."
Well, the regular season is now here, and the Bucs will have yet another group of five playing in front of Jameis Winston.
As for the claiming of Ryan Griffin, I find it peculiar that the Bucs would claim a 3rd quarterback for their final roster. Last year, they went with just Josh McCown and Mike Glennon, and never needed to truly worry about a 3rd quarterback. Most teams these days have gone with a two quarterback approach. Call me crazy, but maybe the Bucs might just be working up something for Mike Glennon, which is why the claim on Griffin was made. Then again, maybe the Bucs just want to take up roster spots with quarterbacks.
In the end, the most surprising decisions were to release tight end Cameron Brate and wide receiver Rannell Hall. Both players had good training camps and preseasons for the Bucs. If they make it through waivers, expect both of these players to be on the Bucs practice squad.
In the end, the Bucs used their top waiver selection in the right way. They are trying to reshape the bottom of their roster, which improves the bottom line of the entire team. Hey, it works on Madden, so hopefully this strategy works in the NFL too.