Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5 Players Firmly on the Roster Bubble
Before we begin the 2013 NFL regular season, each team will have to trim its roster down from 90 to 53 players.
This means that many talented men are going to end up as free agents.
The following slideshow will go over which guys on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in danger of being cut, with a focus on veterans rather than undrafted rookies or warm bodies. The players in this slideshow are on the roster bubble, meaning that they still have a good chance of making it through the final cuts unscathed.
Here are five players firmly on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' roster bubble.
QB Dan Orlovsky
It is entirely possible that the Bucs will keep three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster.
But last year, they only held two, starter Josh Freeman and backup Dan Orlovsky being the only QBs on the team.
So when Tampa Bay drafted Mike Glennon in the third round of the 2013 draft, Orlovsky's roster spot immediately came under threat.
Freeman and Glennon are both definitely making it to September, so it'll be up to the nine-year veteran to prove that he's worth keeping around in the regular season as the third quarterback.
WR Derek Hagan
Once you get past Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams, there is no certainty at the wide receiver position.
With 12 receivers currently under contract for Tampa Bay, predicting who will make the 53-man roster in September is akin to predicting who will win the presidential election in 2028, except that, in this case, there's no Nate Silver spinning gold out of differential equations.
Even if the Bucs keep six WRs, it'll still be a long shot for veteran Derek Hagan, a recent signing, to make the roster. The team will likely be looking to retain some young talent, like Chris Owusu or Tim Wright, rather than Hagan, as Tampa Bay already hosts a few veterans in Jackson, Tiquan Underwood and Kevin Ogletree.
Last man in, first man out.
Derek Hagan will have to have a magnificent training camp in order make the 53-man roster.
LB Jacob Cutrera
Last year, following Quincy Black's season-ending injury, Tampa Bay rolled with just six linebackers on the roster. The starters were Lavonte David, Mason Foster and Adam Hayward. The backups were Jacob Cutrera, Najee Goode and Dekoda Watson.
All of the six men above are still on the team, but the addition of ex-Saint Jonathan Casillas means somebody is likely going to be a cap casualty.
David and Foster aren't going anywhere. We can say the same about Hayward and Watson, who will compete with Casillas for the starting job at strong-side linebacker.
That means it'll be Cutrera battling Goode, and since Goode is younger and offers more upside, it seems that Cutrera will be the one shown the door before September.
CB Myron Lewis
Since his selection in the third round of the 2010 draft, Myron Lewis hasn't done enough on the field to justify how early the Bucs picked him.
In three years, he has appeared in 28 games, recorded 19 tackles, and has not yet managed an interception.
With all the talent that Tampa Bay has at cornerback—from Darrelle Revis to Johnthan Banks, from Eric Wright to Leonard Johnson, and even from Anthony Gaitor to Danny Gorrer—it'll be difficult for Lewis to secure himself a spot on the 53-man roster.
S Cody Grimm
Even without the recent(-ish) news of his arrest, Cody Grimm would have a hard time staying on the team for the regular season.
A seventh-round pick, Grimm has exceeded his draft billing and then some, having started 12 games in his three years in the NFL.
Unfortunately, he's also struggled with injuries, only having appeared in 23 total games, suffering injuries each year.
It should also be stated that not one of his starts came in 2012, when Mark Barron came in and Ronde Barber moved to safety, which meant Grimm saw his role on the defense shrink rapidly.
He'll be battling for a roster spot against Ahmad Black, Keith Tandy, Sean Baker and Nick Saenz. As the Bucs are not likely to hold more than four safeties on their roster, with two of those spots firmly locked up by Dashon Goldson and Mark Barron, Grimm will be competing versus four guys for one of two openings.
Because of his injury history, the odds are against Grimm keeping his place on the roster.