We were tied up with Friday’s NFC South chat as this emerged, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a few interesting cuts a little bit ago.
McKenzie is the most interesting of the bunch because it appeared he had a shot at the starting job at middle linebacker at the start of training camp. McKenzie even ran Tampa Bay’s defense and helped draw up practice plans for players-only workouts during the lockout. But, once camp started, it quickly became obvious the Bucs had rookie Mason Foster ticketed for the starting job.
What’s unclear now is who will be Foster’s backup? Adam Hayward has experience at the position and a couple of young players, Derrell Smith and Simoni Lawrence, have done some good things in the preseason. Outside linebacker Quincy Black is expected to be the middle linebacker on passing downs as Foster will come out when the Bucs go to their nickel package.
The releases of McCargo and Moore aren’t as surprising, but each comes with a bit of a storyline. The Bucs took a shot by bringing in McCargo, a former first-round pick, who has had a disappointing career. They took a look at him, but they obviously feel they’re in good shape at defensive tackle with Gerald McCoy, Brian Price, Frank Okam, Roy Miller and possibly Al Woods. There was some question about Price’s health early on, but he appears ready to contribute.
Moore was a fourth-round pick in 2009, the first draft for general manager Mark Dominik and coach Raheem Morris. He struggled with injuries and the Bucs used their top two picks this year on defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers. They also have Michael Bennett and Tim Crowder.