|Offense||8th||90.6 (26th)||272.9 (4th)|
|Defense||31st||117.5 (23rd)||260.6 (32nd)|
|38||Adjei-Barimah, Jude (FA)||CB||5-11||200||7/21/1992||4||Bowling Green|
|82||Auclair, Antony||TE||6-5||256||5/28/1993||2||Laval (Canada)|
|91||Ayers, Robert (FA)||LB||6-3||275||9/6/1985||10||Tennessee|
|83||Bailey, Sergio||WR||6-0||186||//||R||Eastern Michigan|
|49||Bullough, Riley||LB||6-2||228||11/23/1993||1||Michigan State|
|65||Cappa, Alex||G||6-6||305||1/27/1995||R||Humboldt State|
|94||Clarke, Will||DE||6-6||275||5/4/1991||5||West Virginia|
|44||Crossan, Dalton||RB||5-11||203||2/25/1994||1||New Hampshire|
|69||Dotson, Demar||T||6-9||315||10/11/1985||10||Southern Miss|
|35||Elliott, Javien||CB||5-11||176||7/18/1993||3||Florida State|
|86||Ernsberger, Donnie||TE||6-3||241||10/13/1996||R||Western Michigan|
|21||Evans, Justin||DB||6-1||195||8/26/1995||2||Texas A&M|
|13||Evans, Mike||WR||6-5||231||8/21/1993||5||Texas A&M|
|30||Fleming, Reese||DB||5-11||202||12/6/1993||1||West Virginia|
|2||Folk, Nick (FA)||K||6-1||222||11/5/1984||12||Arizona|
|68||Gardner, Cole||T||6-6||301||11/11/1993||2||Eastern Michigan|
|92||Gholston, William||DE||6-6||281||7/31/1991||6||Michigan State|
|12||Godwin, Chris||WR||6-1||209||2/27/1996||2||Penn State|
|52||Harris, Nigel||LB||6-2||225||12/7/1994||2||South Florida|
|68||Hawley, Joe (FA)||C||6-3||302||10/22/1988||9||UNLV|
|88||Hudson, Tanner||TE||6-5||239||11/12/1994||R||Southern Arkansas|
|66||Jensen, Ryan||C||6-4||319||5/27/1991||5||Colorado State-Pueblo|
|39||Johnson, Isaiah||DB||6-0||213||10/14/1992||1||South Carolina|
|22||Jones, Ronald||RB||5-11||208||8/3/1997||R||Southern California|
|19||Lampman, Jake||WR||6-0||205||6/11/1993||2||Ferris State|
|67||Liedtke, Michael||G||6-3||310||1/13/1992||1||Illinois State|
|16||Martino, Freddie||WR||6-0||195||9/7/1991||3||North Greenville|
|36||McClain, Robert (FA)||DB||5-9||195||7/22/1988||7||Connecticut|
|5||Moore, Trevor||K||5-11||187||//||R||North Texas|
|7||Murray, Patrick (FA)||K||5-7||182||6/22/1991||5||Fordham|
|38||Myers, Mark||DB||5-10||185||//||R||Southeastern University|
|79||O'Connor, Pat||DE||6-4||270||11/1/1993||1||Eastern Michigan|
|78||Perrizo, Evan||DE||6-5||275||5/26/1995||R||Minnesota State|
|90||Pierre-Paul, Jason||DE||6-5||275||1/1/1989||9||South Florida|
|27||Rivers, David||CB||6-0||185||7/23/1994||1||Youngstown State|
|32||Rodgers, Jacquizz||RB||5-7||190||2/6/1990||8||Oregon State|
|95||Russell, Ryan (FA)||DE||6-5||275||1/17/1992||4||Purdue|
|65||Sanborn, Garrison (FA)||C||6-1||240||7/31/1985||10||Florida State|
|96||Siliga, Sealver (FA)||DT||6-2||345||4/26/1990||6||Utah|
|34||Sims, Charles||RB||6-0||211||9/19/1990||5||West Virginia|
|76||Smith, Donovan||T||6-6||338||6/23/1993||4||Penn State|
|62||Smith, Evan||C||6-2||308||7/19/1986||9||Idaho State|
|29||Smith, Ryan||CB||6-0||190||9/7/1993||3||North Carolina Central|
|57||Spence, Noah||DE||6-2||251||1/8/1994||3||Eastern Kentucky|
|36||Stewart, M.J.||CB||5-11||200||9/16/1995||R||North Carolina|
|73||Sweezy, J.R.||G||6-5||298||4/8/1989||6||NC State|
|37||Tandy, Keith||DB||5-10||205||2/12/1989||7||West Virginia|
|53||Taylor, Adarius||LB||6-1||230||9/21/1990||4||Florida Atlantic|
|72||Trattou, Justin (FA)||DE||6-4||258||8/28/1988||7||Florida|
|96||Tu'ikolovatu, Stevie||NT||6-1||320||6/28/1991||2||Southern California|
|95||Ward, Channing||DE||6-4||279||9/17/1992||2||Ole Miss|
|43||Ward, T.J. (FA)||DB||5-10||200||12/12/1986||9||Oregon|
|61||Wester, Leonard||T||6-6||305||1/3/1993||3||Missouri Western State|
|85||Wilson, Bobo||WR||5-9||186||1/29/1995||1||Florida State|
|3||Winston, Jameis||QB||6-4||231||1/6/1994||4||Florida State|
|Barnett, Deondre (IR)||DE||6-3||239||//||R||Southern Illinois|
In the same report, however, Laine relays that the Buccaneers are hopeful that the surgery Spence underwent in Colorado after being placed on season-ending injured reserve has corrected the problem. The second-year defensive end dislocated his shoulder a total of four times over a span of 12 months, with the first instance having come in Week 4 of his rookie 2016 campaign against the Broncos. Spence also underwent surgery on the shoulder last Jan. 11 to repair what was at the time a fully torn labrum suffered against the Panthers in the 2016 season finale. A first-round talent that slipped in the draft due to off-the-field concerns, Spence has flashed his pass-rushing acumen over his first 22 career games despite often playing hurt and in a part-time role, collecting 6.5 sacks. He'll look to be ready for the start of OTAs, with further updates on his condition expected as that time draws near.
Adjei-Barimah missed the entire 2017 season with a knee injury but was just cleared by his surgeon to resume football activities this week. Only 25, the cornerback has starting experience dating back to 2015 and could attract the attention of several teams, if he can remain healthy throughout the offseason.
The 28-year-old linebacker missed three games in 2017 while dealing with ankle and hamstring issues. However, he apparently wanted to shore up his shoulders heading into 2018, as well, considering the pivotal role they play in the impressive tackle numbers that David typically racks up. David set career bests in forced fumbles (five) and fumble recoveries (five) last season, while adding 101 stops during his second campaign in defensive coordinator Mike Smith's scheme. The former Pro Bowler should benefit from playing behind what projects as a stouter and more aggressive defensive line bolstered by the additions of first-round pick Vita Vea and prize offseason trade acquisition Jason Pierre-Paul.
One of several Buccaneers players to exit Monday's 24-21 loss to the Falcons due to injury, Evans looks like he could be dealing with more than a minor ankle issue. With the Buccaneers out of playoff contention, there's little for the team to gain by running its starting safety out for the final two contests of the season at less than full health. If Evans is in fact shut down, Chris Conte and Keith Tandy could pick up more snaps in the secondary.
Lynch joined the Rams in December after being released by the Buccaneers, but is now returning to the team he started the 2017 season with. The 24-year-old should be a special teams contributor and depth linebacker for Tampa Bay.
Trattou backs up Everson Griffin at right defensive end and the Vikings will be without needed depth. Depth is more of an issue than usual with the game being played at high altitude.
Alexander made a solid first impression in his initial all-star appearance, co-leading the NFC squad in tackles with the Falcons' Deion Jones. The third-year linebacker overcame an early-season hamstring injury to still average just over eight tackles per contest for the Bucs in 2017, and he also racked up a career-high three interceptions. Given his considerable talent, youth and stat-friendly middle linebacker role, Sunday's Pro Bowl was likely the first of many for the 23-year-old.
Unrein is coming off his best season as a pro, logging 32 tackles and 2.5 sacks over 12 games. The terms of his contract aren't clear, nor is where he may fit in with the Buccaneers' 4-3 defensive front. However, considering he was a defensive end in Chicago's 3-4 scheme, the 6-foot-4, 301-pound lineman will likely fit in as a defensive tackle with Tampa Bay.
The fifth-year option ensures Winston can't hit free agency or receive the franchise tag next season, giving the Bucs a bit of leverage in negotiations on a long-term contract. The team may be hesitant to work on a deal at the moment, as the NFL still hasn't talked to Winston about a November accusation that he groped an Uber driver in 2016, ESPN.com's Jenna Laine reports. Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer, general manager Jason Licht and coach Dirk Koetter all have expressed frustration with the league's slow movement on the case. Winston reported Monday for the start of the Buccaneers' offseason program.
A November pickup by the Bucs last season, Siliga brought some additional size to the team's defensive line last season. However, he saw limited action over six games with the club, notching just five tackles (three solo) and one sack. He will likely return to a similar role with Tampa Bay in 2017.
Evans struggled through the least productive season of his career in 2017, but he nonetheless reached 1,000 receiving yards for the fourth time in as many years, and the Bucs wisely are betting on a rebound with the help of a healthier campaign from Jameis Winston. The new deal tacks five seasons on top of Evans' fifth-year option, running through his age-30 campaign in 2023. He turns 25 in August and may still have his best football ahead of him, perhaps even this upcoming season if the Bucs sufficiently address their shaky offensive line during the free-agency period and/or draft.
Cross played through the injury all year and is expected to recover in time for offseason workouts this spring.
The Buccaneers must see a lot of promise in the rookie defensive end, as the team released veteran Darryl Tapp in order to make room for O'Connor on the roster. O'Connor spent the preseason with the Lions after being selected in the seventh round of April's draft. He could see some defensive snaps Sunday if starter Robert Ayers -- who continues to deal with a concussion -- is sidelined for the contest.
Smith was listed as questionable and has not missed a game this season, a streak that will continue through at least Week 15. The 24-year-old should take his starting spot at left tackle for the Buccaneers.
Harris will offer the Buccaneers a much-needed healthy option at linebacker with Lavonte David (hamstring) and Devante Bond (neck) uncertain to play Week 16 against the Panthers and Adarius Glanton (lower leg) hitting injured reserve. Despite the health issues at the position, it's not expected that Harris will be pressed into extended snaps on defense over the final two contests.
Allen rotated in the middle of the Eagles' defensive line during 2017, notching 20 tackles (13 solo) and a sack during the regular season. With a lack of options alongside Gerald McCoy for 2018, Allen could be in line for a bigger role with the Bucs in 2018.
Catanzaro converted 25 of 30 field-goal attempts and all 29 of his extra-point tries last season for the Jets, with all five misses coming from the 40-to-49-yard range. He struggled in 2016 with Arizona but otherwise has been one of the better kickers in the NFL (84.4 percent accuracy rate on field goals) since entering the league in 2014. The change of scenery improves Catanzaro's fantasy outlook, as the Tampa Bay offense has the potential for a breakout, albeit a year later than most expected.
After finishing last in the NFL in sacks (22) in 2017, the Buccaneers have poured significant resources into upgrading their pass rush over the past week, bringing aboard Vinny Curry on a three-year, $27 million pact and now acquiring Pierre-Paul, who inked a four-year, $62 million deal with the Giants last March. One of the NFL's more fearsome rushers since entering the league in 2010, Pierre-Paul has seen his productivity slow only moderately since his much-publicized 2015 fireworks accident, racking up 15.5 sacks over the past two seasons. With Pierre-Paul, Curry and six-time Pro Bowl tackle Gerald McCoy along the defensive line, providing pressure on the quarterback shouldn't be nearly as much of an issue for Tampa Bay in 2018.
Benenoch exited earlier in the game with an ankle injury but was able to return, only to sustain the knee injury. Leonard Webster will take over at right tackle if Benenoch is unable to return again.
Liedtke is expected to fully healed by the time offseason conditioning and OTAs begin, so he should be ready to battle for a roster spot with one-year remaining on his contract with Tampa Bay.
The FSU product didn't see any targets in the regular-season finale, and he finished his rookie campaign with more carries (three) than receptions (one). Wilson was active for three contests overall, spending the remainder of his season on the practice squad. On the books for a cost-effective $555,000 in 2018, he figures to have an opportunity to battle for a roster spot on the latter portion of the wideout depth chart in training camp and preseason.
Wester briefly engaged in a block before drifting into the left side of the end zone for an easy reception from Jameis Winston in the fourth quarter to bring the Buccaneers within a Patrick Murray extra point of a 21-21 tie. The second-year tackle remains a valued part of Tampa's offensive line rotation.
Signed to a three-year, $33.5 million contract last offseason, Jackson finished 2017 with career-low marks of 13.4 yards per catch, 7.3 yards per target and 47.7 receiving yards per game. The disappointing season in combination with a large contract and talented wideout depth chart might seem to put his status with the team in jeopardy, but the Bucs apparently don't blame Jackson for his lack of statistical output. The hope is that an improved offensive line will give Jameis Winston more time to look downfield, allowing him to take advantage of a wideout group led by Jackson, Mike Evans, Adam Humphries and Chris Godwin, not to mention Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard (ankle) at tight end. Jackson's efficiency should improve at least a little, but the ample competition for Winston's attention will make it tough to realize a significant increase on last year's mark of 6.5 targets per game.
The 2016 first-round pick finished the season on injured reserve after hurting his hamstring in a Week 10 game against the Jets and never recovering sufficiently to even make it back on the practice field. It was a fittingly disappointing conclusion to a lackluster sophomore campaign for Hargreaves, who did not intercept a pass over the eight-plus games he participated in and was part of a secondary that allowed the fourth-highest completion percentage (67.6) over the course of the season. Hargreaves struggled early in 2017 while playing the outside and was beginning to transition to more nickel corner work before his injury. Licht emphasized that despite Hargreaves' struggles last season, he's still viewed as aptly capable of bouncing back with the benefit of a clean bill of health in 2018, and that he remains valued for his on-field versatility. "The corners that can play both inside and outside, they come in handy, especially if they can play them both well," said Licht. "Vernon fits that definition of the guy that can do both. I had a lot of positive conversations with Vernon at the end of the year and I'm excited about where his mind is right now. I think he's going to have a pretty good year this year."
Ayers started 10 games for Tampa Bay last season and registered 31 combined tackles to go along with two sacks. At 32 years old, Ayers still has some juice left in the tank so it's expected that he'll garner some suitors for his services. Just how much juice is left in the tank remains to be seen, however.
The second-year linebacker has also been participating in team meetings and is getting around the facility with the aid of a scooter. Beckwith's recovery timeline remains unclear, but he appears to be on the road to at least open training camp as a limited participant.
Howard ended his rookie season on injured reserve after suffering an right ankle injury in a Week 15-loss to the Falcons. However, after four months of rehab, the former Alabama standout should be a full participant in the rest of the Buccaneers' offseason activities. He finished his rookie year with 26 catches for 432 yards and six touchdowns, and after starting tight end Cameron Brate re-signed with the team this offseason, Howard will likely continue to split reps at tight end this season.
Formerly known as Adarius Glanton, the linebacker logged 284 snaps on defense and 213 on special teams last season, posting a career-best stat line of 31 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 14 games. Assuming his recovery goes as planned, he'll provide depth behind Tampa Bay's starting linebacker group of Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander and Kendell Beckwith, potentially joining the starting lineup if one of the three is injured. Taylor may not be ready for the offseason program, as his recovery timeline was estimated at 4-to-6 months.
Smith has been with Tampa Bay the last four seasons, but he hasn't been a full-time starter since 2014. His value comes in his versatility, as he's capable of playing all three interior linemen positions and provides the team much-needed depth. Entering his 10th NFL season, Smith has slowed down a bit, but he still figures to add value to the Buccaneers' offense in 2018.
Robinson was one of Tampa Bay's top performers on special teams last season, ending the campaign on a high note with a fourth-quarter forced fumble during the Buccaneers' Week 17 upset over the playoff-bound Saints. He should remain a stud in the third phase of the game now that his contract has been extended through the end of the 2018 campaign.
Johnson, who spent this past offseason in Tampa Bay, finished the 2017 campaign on the Buccaneers' practice squad. The Tennessee product will battle with Antony Auclair and Alan Cross for slotting on the bottom of the depth chart this offseason.
The veteran defensive end reported that he felt like he got "too big" last season, limiting his overall effectiveness. Gholston's numbers may bear that out, as he generated his fewest tackles (36) since his rookie 2013 campaign and failed to record a sack for the first time in his five-year career. The 26-year-old is slated to play more of a rotational defensive end role this season -- as opposed to serving as a clear-cut starter -- in the wake of the offseason signing of Vinny Curry.
Dotson was placed on injured reserve in late November after suffering a torn PCL, but additional surgery was now required on his meniscus. As a result, Dotson will be held out of OTAs and the team's offseason minicamp, but with the belief that he'll be healthy enough for training camp, Dotson doesn't appear to be in danger of missing any time in the regular season.
Humphries has proven to be a valuable and steady component of a Buccaneers receiving corps that's seen its fair share of injury and instability in recent seasons. The Clemson product has particularly hit his stride over the last two seasons, compiling 116 receptions for 1,253 yards and three touchdowns during that span. However, Watson profiles as a younger and considerably more athletic version (40-inch vertical, 4.42 second 40-yard dash) of the relatively slight Humphries (5-foot-11, 195 pounds). The veteran has an undeniable leg up with respect to experience in head coach Dirk Koetter's system, but Watson will have time to make up ground during mini-camps, training camp and the preseason. The Bucs already had a glut of pass catchers, with Humphries and Watson joined by fellow wideouts Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin, plus tight ends Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard (ankle).
The news of Curry's three-year deal -- reportedly worth up to $27 million -- comes on the heels of Robert Ayers' release. Curry spent the last six seasons in Philadelphia, where he accumulated 22 sacks over the years. The versatile pass rusher has shown flashes of star potential but has struggled with consistency at times.
The report notes that Monken likely is referring to three-wide formations, but it still would be a significant development given that Adam Humphries caught 116 of 165 passes for 1,253 yards -- 7.6 YPT, 70.3 percent catch rate -- while serving as the Bucs' primary slot receiver the past two years. With Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson returning as starters on the outside, Tampa Bay likely will want Evans and/or Godwin to become comfortable playing the slot in three-wide sets. It will be tough to find regular targets for everyone even if Humphries is pushed back to No. 4 on the depth chart, as the Bucs also want to feed tight ends Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard. A third-round pick last year, Godwin finished his rookie season with 525 yards at a clip of 9.5 per target, buoyed by 10 catches for 209 yards and a touchdown over the final two weeks (when Jackson was injured). Bucs general manager Jason Licht made comments similar to Monken's back in March, saying that Godwin has earned a bigger role for 2018.
Barber was the Bucs' top backfield option by the end of last season, but arguably, that designation was at least partly by default. Neither Jacquizz Rodgers or Charles Sims were true candidates for the primary back role, while the since-departed Doug Martin had evidently fallen out of favor in the latter half of the campaign. Barber was undeniably serviceable -- albeit unspectacular -- over his five games as the lead back, compiling 335 yards at a solid clip of 4.3 yards per carry. However, big plays, one of the primary assets that Jones brings to the table, were almost completely absent from Barber's repertoire, as he compiled a lone run of greater than 20 yards all season. In contrast, Jones posted at least one run of 40-plus yards in 12 of 40 college games, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Moreover, Barber also offered modest production through the air (16 receptions on 19 targets), while Jones brings much more upside in that area, given his home-run speed and ability in space. While Jones' considerably slighter frame (5-foot-11, 205 pounds) might prove somewhat of a challenge for him at the next level, Barber could see his workload increasingly shift to short-yardage situations as the rookie acclimates to the NFL game. From the glass-half-full perspective, that could partly equate to a considerable amount of goal-line work, which would help prop up Barber's fantasy prospects to an extent. Upcoming mini-camps, training camp, and ultimately, preseason games figure to definitively sort out the Buccaneers' backfield pecking order ahead of the 2018 season.
The 28-year-old has yet to see action in a regular-season game over five seasons in the NFL. Griffin completed just four of nine passes for 57 yards with one interception last preseason before suffering a shoulder injury against the Bengals in the exhibition opener, which led to him being placed on injured reserve until a Nov. 7 activation. When Winston missed three full games and a portion of another with a shoulder injury of his own, Griffin was just a Fitzpatrick injury away from seeing snaps, but that never came to fruition. However, he could find himself as the primary backup to Winston in 2018, as Griffin is on the books for a reasonable $1.1 million, while Fitzpatrick will become an unrestricted free agent in March and is uncertain to be retained.
The second-year defensive back had shaken off the ankle injury that had cost him the Week 16 loss to the Panthers early in the practice week, and he looked to be at full health Sunday while posting at least five stops for the fifth time over his final six games of the season. Smith worked his way into the starting lineup beginning in Week 8 due to injuries to Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves (hamstring), and while he ended up acquitting himself particularly well in the tackle department, he wasn't able to get his hands on many passes. Smith finished with just two defensed passes over his last eight contests, and he's still in search of his first career interception after 29 games. The 24-year-old remains under team control for two more seasons under his rookie contract, and he could vie for a starting role if the team decides not to re-sign Grimes.
Because of Friday's doubtful designation this isn't much of a surprise, and it won't shake up the Bucs' defensive dynamic since he has just 14 tackles (12 solo) through 14 games.
Murray finished off the season in solid fashion, and despite a handful of late-season hiccups, he essentially solved the Buccaneers' kicking woes once he debuted in Week 6. The four-year pro finished 19-for-23 (82.6 percent) on field goals, coming just shy of the 83.3 percent figure he'd posted in his first Tampa stint back in 2014. Murray only missed one field goal under 49 yards, but nailed just 40 percent of his five tries from 50 and beyond. His missed PAT in Week 17 was his first of the season, so he did bring a considerable degree of stability to the position. Heading into the offseason as an exclusive-rights free agent, Murray seems like a sure bet to be tendered a qualifying offer and open 2018 training camp as the presumed starter.
Sims played in all 16 games for the Bucs last season, collecting more receptions (35) than carries (21). He'll likely remain limited to passing downs, though the 27-year-old did begin to see work on special teams in the back half of last year. Sims will have to compete with Peyton Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers for offensive snaps, and likely will face additional competition after the upcoming draft.
Crossan suffered an injury during training camp last season while attempting to crack the Colts' 53-man roster. He eventually reached an injury settlement with the club and was on the market until his signing Thursday. The second-year tailback will likely compete to earn a special teams spot with the Bucs during 2018.
The Buccaneers played without All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (biceps) in Monday's 24-21 loss to the Falcons and lost defensive end Robert Ayers (neck/shoulder) midway through the contest, so the addition of Ward gives the team a fresh body along the line. Even if both McCoy and Ayers are sidelined for the Bucs' final two games of the season, don't expect Ward to be a major factor in the team's line rotation.
The Bucs released Doug Martin in February, but they re-signed pass-catching specialist Charles Sims last week, shortly before adding an element of explosiveness with Jones. The team also brings back Peyton Barber, who closed out the 2017 season with five straight performances featuring at least 12 carries, 51 rushing yards and 3.9 yards per carry. Rodgers had only six touches on offense in that same stretch, getting most of his snaps on special teams. He'll may need to compete for a spot during training camp and probably won't have a major role on offense even if he cracks the 53-man roster again.
The Buccaneers will sport a retooled offensive line Sunday against the Packers, as Marpet, the team's starting center, will be joined on IR by right tackle Demar Dotson after both players suffered season-ending injuries in the Week 12 loss to the Falcons. Marpet, who had consistently graded out as the Bucs' top offensive lineman this season after making the transition from guard, will likely be replaced in the lineup by Joe Hawley, the team's primary center the past two years.
As a result, the 35-year-old QB is poised to reprise his role as Jameis Winston's top backup. Fitzpatrick started three games for Tampa Bay in 2017 while Winston dealt with a shoulder injury, en route to completing 96 of 163 passes for 1,103 yards with seven touchdowns and three interceptions across six games overall. In his current role, Fitzpatrick is off the re-draft radar, but in the event that Winston misses time for any reason, Fitzpatrick can be a capable lineup plug-in, in both real and fantasy terms.
Johnson has been on the Rams' practice squad since the end of training camp, but did spend some time on the team's 53-man roster in 2016. The 25-year-old will likely serve as a depth option in the secondary and as a special teams contributor.
The Laval University (Canada) product beat the odds to make the 53-man roster coming out of preseason, but he didn't enjoy active status until Week 5. Auclair went on to notch his first career reception against the Packers in Week 13, and he played an expanded role in terms of snaps over the last two weeks of the season with O.J. Howard (IR-ankle) sidelined. The 24-year-old flashed the ability to get downfield during training camp and preseason, with his 6-foot-5, 250-pound frame enabling him to create potential matchup problems against certain linebackers and safeties. Auclair will head into OTAs looking to make further inroads in terms of playing time, but with Cameron Brate and Howard ahead of him on the depth chart, that figures to be an uphill battle, at least for the time being.
Hawley saw action in just four games for the Buccaneers during the 2018 campaign and wasn't deemed worthy of retaining in a backup role at center behind starter Ali Marpet. Per Pelissero, the Buccaneers have interest in bringing Hawley back on a cheaper contract, but the 29-year-old will presumably look around and see what kind of market he has for his services before entertaining the idea of re-signing with Tampa Bay.
Lampman ended the year on Tampa's practice squad but hasn't appeared in a game since 2016, when he was exclusively a special-teams player for the Saints. The Ferris State product will look to carve out a similar role with the Buccaneers this offseason.
Elliott was set to become a restricted free agent if he and the Bucs were unable to reach a deal. The third-year cornerback played in 15 games for the team last season, but mainly in a special teams role. He will look to earn a more prominent role on defense during offseason camp.
The rotational defensive end finished the season on a high note, notching a sack in each of his last two contests despite fighting through a shoulder injury. The 25-year-old Russell also logged at least one tackle in each of his last six games, and he posted career bests in total stops (17), solo tackles (13) and sacks (2.0) in 2017. An impending restricted free agent, it's likely the Buccaneers extend Russell a qualifying offer at the minimum tender given his potential (24.5 tackles for loss, including 9.5 sacks, in four college campaigns) and solid showing over limited snaps this past season.
Lambert dislocated his wrist in Saturday's exhibition. He's unlikely to come off IR until season's end, barring an injury settlement.
McClain, playing on a one-year deal with Tampa Bay, logged the second-most snaps among Buccaneers cornerbacks and ultimately finished tops in tackles at the position. However, he never proved to be much of an IDP asset and graded out as Pro Football Focus' 98th-highest graded corner. The UConn product will now be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the league year.
The 26-year-old speedster closed out the season with at least one reception in each of his last four games, with DeSean Jackson's ankle injury in particular opening up some additional opportunity in Weeks 16 and 17. Martino had two stints apiece on the Buccaneers' practice squad and active roster in 2017, finishing the season with five receptions (on six targets) for 96 yards (career-high 19.2 YPC) over eight contests. He's on the books for a $705,000 salary in 2018, so despite his history with head coach Dirk Koetter, he'll likely need a strong training camp and preseason to beat out less expensive options the team is likely to add in the offseason and the draft.
The Buccaneers poached Rivers from the Dolphins' practice squad to add depth in the secondary after cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (hamstring) and safety Justin Evans (ankle) were placed on injured reserve. It's expected that the undrafted rookie out of Youngstown State will see most of his action on special teams -- if he plays at all -- in the Buccaneers' final two games.
Grimes, 34 years old, has refused to let his age get in the way of his productive ways. Last season, he racked up 49 combined tackles to go along with three interceptions. Despite the impressive season, the Bucs remained stubborn this offseason in their negotiation tactics by refusing to sign Grimes to a long-term deal. Not only does Grimes figure to be a major component to the Tampa Bay defense in 2018, but the 12-year vet will likely be playing for another sizable contract.
Fleming was with the team in training camp and recorded two tackles in the second preseason contest against the Jaguars. The rookie posted 78 tackles (63 solo), one interception, 15 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery over 27 college games. Fellow corner David Rivers was released from the practice squad to make room for Fleming.
Tu'iklolovatu damaged the MCL and meniscus in his right knee. Fortunately, he should be able to return in time for the 2018 campaign.
The 29-year-old defensive stalwart finished the season with seven total tackles (four solo), including a sack, over the last two contests despite dealing with a partly-torn biceps. With 47 total stops this season, McCoy came just shy of the career-high 50 he posted over 16 games in 2013. However, he did see his sacks drop for the second consecutive season, although the six he compiled were still undeniably impressive for an interior lineman. McCoy remains under team control through the 2021 season and figures to once again serve as the defensive line's linchpin in 2018.
With Folk set to become an unrestricted free agent March 14 and the Buccaneers having no intention of re-signing him, Tampa Bay likely chose to cut the kicker loose so he could get an early start on finding work. The 33-year-old won the Buccaneers' kicking job in training camp last fall but held onto the role for only four games after missing seven kicks (five field goals, two extra points) on only 20 attempts. Rather than releasing him in favor of replacement Patrick Murray, the Buccaneers shifted Folk to injured reserve while he dealt with a minor knee injury that he's since recovered from. Given his underwhelming accuracy in recent years, Folk may only be signed as camp competition rather than as a team's top choice to win the kicking gig.
Sweezy suffered a leg injury late in the year, forcing him to go on injured reserve with two games left in the season. The 28-year-old's return will be key if the Buccaneers hope to turn around their offensive line play in 2018, after the team stalled with the sixth-fewest team rushing yards and allowed 40 sacks last season.
Conte started 14 of 16 games during the 2017 season but was also one of the main culprits in Tampa Bay having allowed the fourth-most yards per pass attempt. With 2017 second-round pick Justin Evans on the rise coupled with the non-zero chance Tampa Bay adds more talent to its stable of safeties this offseason, Conte could be in store for a decreased role in 2018.
Set to be a restricted free agent Wednesday, Brate avoided a tender and instead was granted a long-term commitment from the organization that took a chance on him as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He's been a nice safety net for Jameis Winston the past two seasons, accruing 14 touchdowns and averaging 7.9 yards per target among his 105 receptions (on 158 targets). Brate's contract follows Mike Evans' huge extension last week, but the tight end may continue to yield snaps to 2017 first-round pick O.J. Howard (ankle) over the course of this new deal.
Tandy has been a versatile piece of Tampa's secondary for years now but is mainly regarded as a backup-caliber player. The 29-year-old will remain off the IDP radar in advance of his seventh professional season.
The Buccaneers let Ward walk after the 31-year-old played the 2017 season under a one-year contract, racking up 43 tackles and three pass breakups across 12 games in a part-time role. It's true his play has slipped since his Pro Bowl days with the Broncos from 2013 to 2015, but Ward could still have something left in the tank and it's not advised to completely write him off in IDP formats quite yet. However, complicating his ability to sign with a team this offseason is the fact that Ward was arrested in January on a felony count of marijuana possession and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia, issues that could certainly lead to league-imposed discipline.