By Tom Krasniqi
The Bucs have made the final cuts. The team shaved their roster from 75 to 53 on Saturday. Among the notable cuts were safety Cody Grimm, wideout Chris Owusu and kicker Derek Dimke. That means veteran Rian Lindell will be the kicker. Speaking of kickers, Lawrence Tynes was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list. The Bucs will pay Tynes' $840,000 salary for 2013 as he continues to deal with a staph infection. Tynes tells FOX Sports he plans on fighting the Bucs to get the benefits he deserves. Going on NFI list prevents Tynes from getting an accrued year, plus pension and other benefits.
The following players were waived:
S Sean Baker, CB Deveron Carr, T Jace Daniels, LB Dom DeCicco, LS Andrew DePaola, K Derek Dimke, WR David Douglas, LB Ka'lial Glaud, S Cody Grimm, P Chas Henry, DT Lazarius Levingston, DT Matthew Masifilo, DT Andre Neblett, TE Danny Noble, WR Chris Owusu, T Mike Remmers, CB Mason Robinson, and C/G Cody Wallace.
Bucs also terminated the contracts of G Roger Allen, WR Jordan Norwood and DT Gary Gibson.
Keep in mind, the Bucs will likely tweak this roster in the coming hours and days. Roster breakdown for the 2013 Bucs:
QB: (3) Josh Freeman, Mike Glennon and Dan Orlovsky
Analysis: Glennon remains the backup to Freeman. Most teams don't keep 3 QBs on the roster. Now, it's up to Freeman to deliver.
RB: (5) Doug Martin, Erik Lorig, Brian Leonard, Mike James and Peyton Hillis
Analysis: Surprised to see Hillis on the final 53 when you consider he doesn't play on special teams and his ankle injury. Hillis could be trade bait. James needs to improve in pass pro. Leonard is Martin's backup.
WR: (5) Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams, Kevin Ogletree, Tiquan Underwood and Eric Page
Analysis: VJax and Williams are among the best WR duos in the league. Page beats out Owusu for the #5 spot. Page's emergence as a punt/kick returner solidified his spot on the roster. It appears Ogletree is the #3 WR.
TE: (4) Luke Stocker, Tom Crabtree, Nate Byham and Tim Wright
Analysis: This position looks dicey. Stocker was banged up during camp. Crabtree has a significant high ankle sprain that could sideline him for weeks. Byham is a good blocker but not much of a receiving threat. Byham has also lined up at FB on occasion especially in short-yardage situations. I still don't know how Wright made this roster. He's a converted WR with some athleticism but not a great prospect. Oh yeah, he's from Rutgers.
OL: (8) Donald Penn, Carl Nicks, Jeremy Zuttah, Davin Joseph, Demar Dotson, Gabe Carimi, Ted Larsen and Jamon Meredith
Analysis: Nicks could be gone for weeks so the Bucs need to find a suitable replacement at LG. Carimi struggled in the last two preseason games there. If Carimi falters, Zuttah could slide over with Larsen at center. Joseph was 'so-so' in his ownn words against Miami when he played just one quarter. With Nicks out, the Bucs desperately need Joseph to return to his Pro Bowl form. Once he gets some reps under him, he should be OK but he could struggle early in the season.
DE: (6) Adrian Clayborn, Da'Quan Bowers, Daniel Te'o Nesheim, Trevor Scott, William Gholston and Steven Means
Analysis: A lot of bodies but not a real frightening group from a pass rushing perspective. Bucs need Bowers to get in shape and step forward. He has the talent. Scott locked down a spot with a 3 sack performance at Miami last week. Gholston and Bowers have played some DT in passing situations. You could see Scott there as well. The Bucs are experimenting with different lineup combinations in order to generate some pressure and they will blitz quite often. Means was a little nervous about making the final cut. He's a good athlete, but more of a project. He's a perfect candidate for the practice squad but the Bucs didn't want to risk losing him through waivers.
DT: (3) Gerald McCoy, Akeem Spence and Derek Landri
Analysis: Spence has really come on strong the last couple of weeks and will start at the tilted nose alongside McCoy. Spence has an explosive first step and could lessen the double-teams on McCoy. Surprised Landri made the cut. He's been banged up throughout much of camp. Bucs will undoubtedly scan the waiver wire for help at this position. As mentioned above, the team will use DEs at the DT spot in passing situations.
LB: (6) LaVonte David, Mason Foster, Jonathan Casillas, Dekoda Watson, Najee Goode and Adam Hayward
Analysis: Really solid group. Versatility, athleticism and special teams monsters in Hayward, Watson and Casillas. David looks like a Pro Bowler in the making. Don't be surprised if Casillas is named the starter at SLB but Watson will play some snaps as well.
CB: (6) Darrelle Revis, Johnthan Banks, Leonard Johnson, Danny Gorrer, Rashaan Melvin and Michael Adams
Analysis: Looks much improved on paper than a year ago (obviously). The key to this group (and the team for that matter) will be a healthy Revis. Barring any setbacks, he will start in Week 1. The Bucs have been very cautious in easing him back in. If he's healthy, then it gives Greg Schiano the freedom to blitz more aggressively. Banks looks like he can play, but he's a rookie and will be tested. The team likes Adams in the slot CB position. Johnson struggled mightlily when isolated in one-on-one matchups (see Patriots game). Melvin was an UDFA who turned heads in camp but didn't do much in preseason play. The Bucs like his size (6-2, 193lbs) and press ability.
S: (4) Dashon Goldson, Mark Barron, Ahmad Black and Keith Tandy
Analysis: Barron looked much more comfortable as an extra "LB" type in the box against the run. He could be primed for a breakout season. Goldson is a ferocious hitter who will play more centerfield in coverage. Can he hold up if the pass rush is lacking? This isn't the 49ers front seven. Tandy beat out Grimm for the final spot. Bucs like his versatility and special teams prowess.
LS: Andrew Economos
P: Michael Koenen
K: Rian Lindell
KR/PR: Eric Page