The Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ 2021 title defense began on Saturday with a preseason loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. While the result of the game doesn’t ultimately matter, it proved to be the last game for several Buccaneers players.
On Sunday, the Buccaneers announced the release of three players from their roster – all fairly notable names. Cornerback Cameron Kinley, tight end De’Quan Hampton and wideout Josh Pearson all got the ax today.
Kinley rose to national prominence after initially being denied an exemption from his Naval commission to join the Bucs as an undrafted free agent. He eventually got his exemption and was allowed to join the team.
Hampton played wide receiver at USC, but transitioned to tight end upon joining the NFL. Thus far though, he has not been able to find playing time.
Pearson went undrafted out of Jacksonville State in 2020 but also did not play for the Buccaneers last year. He spent the majority of his rookie season on and off the practice squad but was re-signed after the season.
Bucs make three cuts ahead of Tuesday’s deadline to cut to 85. The biggest is rookie corner Cameron Kinley, who had gotten an exemption from the Naval Academy to compete for a spot on Tampa Bay’s roster. Also cut: TE De’Quan Hampton and WR Josh Pearson.
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) August 15, 2021
While the cuts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made today were harsh, they won’t be the last.
The Buccaneers have over 80 players on their roster but need to trim it down to 53 in the weeks to come. A few dozen more cuts need to be made before they can start their Super Bowl title defense in earnest.
Who else is likely to be cut before the Buccaneers kick off their 2021 season?