Waiver claims less necessary for Bucs this season

Published: August 31st, 2011
By Bucs Beat Feed

Some of the Bucs' best acquisitions under coach Raheem Morris and general manager Mark Dominik have been made after final cuts.

At this time last year, the Bucs picked up LeGarrette Blount, Kregg Lumpkin, Ted Larsen and Dezmon Briscoe -- all of whom were cut by the teams they spent the 2010 preseason with. Each has settled in nicely in Tampa Bay, carving out a role.

And that's the very reason there likely will be fewer such moves this year.

After final cuts are revealed around the league on Saturday afternoon, eyeballs everywhere will be scanning the waiver for possible pickups. The Bucs will be doing this, too. But they might be less inclined to actually make claims this year, coach Raheem Morris said.

"Obviously we won’t be as active," he said. "Mark Dominik is up there looking at people right now. He’s evaluating everybody’s roster. . . We don’t have as much room to do that as last year, but that’s a sign that we’re getting better as a team as well.

"You might see some claims, but for the most part we don’t have as much room for that as we did last year. . . We feel good about a lot of our football team and that’s good."

Morris' prediction makes sense. The Bucs didn't have many jobs open for competition in training camp because they had a number of proven starters, even among their youngest players. That means players from outside teams won't have as good a shot to make Tampa Bay's roster. 

Contrast today's situation with that of a couple of years ago. In 2009,  Dominik was making seemingly weekly waiver claims while raiding other teams' practice squads. That's because the Bucs' roster at the time did not have nearly the talent level it does now. Ironically, it's more likely that other clubs now will be making a play for some of the players the Bucs release.

"If they’re smart," Morris said.