The Bucs roster is loaded with depth, so there is very little room for waiver wire or free agent additions. Still, a few depth spots could be upgraded, especially on the practice squad. Here are four names the team should consider signing this week.
1. OL Tyrell Crosby
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OT Tyrell Crosby – Photo Credit USA TODAY Sports
Signing Crosby would have nothing to do with need and everything to do with adding another talented player to the practice squad. Crosby has actually started 18 games for the Lions over the past three years, including 11 last year. He’s been a solid starter for them as well, which means he could be claimed on waivers by a needy team.
The Bucs should be one of those teams, despite good depth on their offensive line. Crosby has played right and left tackle in Detroit, and is a better player than Josh Wells. He also has a skill set that I believe could excel at guard, giving them another option to replace Alex Cappa in a year. Crosby is also a fantastic person and high-effort player, which would help him fit in perfectly in Tampa Bay.
2. RB Ameer Abdullah
If you can hearken back to the 2015 NFL Draft, you’ll remember that it was Ameer Abduallah that Cardinals GM Steve Keim and then head coach Bruce Arians wanted in the second round, not David Johnson. Obviously Abdullah’s career has been fairly disappointing, but as a practice squad running back? That’s a good signing.
Abdullah is a decent receiver, capable pass protector and 4-phase special teamer. You want a back that can wear a lot of hats on your practice squad, and right now the Bucs don’t have that. In fact, they don’t have any running backs lined up for the practice squad, unless they want C.J. Prosise back for some reason. Tampa Bay has a depth need at running back, and Abdullah can fill it.
3. S Andrew Adams
Bucs S Andrew Adams – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR
There is something to be said for having familiarity and reliability at your No. 4 safety spot. Adams has been a starter, backup, special teams ace and more for the Bucs over the years. The Eagles cut him loose, and the Bucs might have a hole at safety. Ross Cockrell could be headed back to cornerback with the team only keeping four other corners, and Javon Hagan was waived on Tuesday. Chris Cooper currently remains on the roster, but he’ll likely be waived when four Bucs players return from the COVID list.
Cooper or Hagan could go back to the practice squad, and the Bucs would probably be just fine with that. But Adams is a proven commodity who knows the defense and has played well when called upon the past couple years. The Bucs won’t easily forget Adams’ clutch 36 snaps in the NFC Championship Game, or his pass breakup of Aaron Rodgers in the end zone with the game on the line. It’s worth a call to see if Adams would consider a reunion with his old team.
4. TE Eric Tomlinson
The Bucs continue to ask a lot from their tight ends as blockers, yet keep adding primarily pass-catching tight ends! Outside of Rob Gronkowski, the Bucs do not have a reliable blocking tight end on the roster. If Gronk goes down, the team needs some options for their run game to operate smoothly.
Last year Antony Auclair made the final roster because the team believed in him as a blocker. That belief turned out to be misplaced, which forced the Bucs to turn to Joe Haeg. Tomlinson is the size of a small tackle at the tight end position. The only reason he is available is because the team with the largest tight end room in the league (Baltimore) didn’t have a spot for him.
Tomlinson has caught just 17 passes in five seasons, so he’s not going to help through the air. That’s just fine, as the Bucs have several options to produce in the passing game. But keeping Tomlinson on the practice squad as an emergency backup tight end who can step into Gronkowski’s blocking role in case of injury would be a wise move for the Bucs. At almost 30 years old, Tomlinson could be attracted by a contender. I don’t believe he has to clear waivers as a veteran player.
Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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