The reshuffling of the Buccaneers roster continued on Saturday, just 24 hours before their season opener against the Panthers.
Veteran receiver Louis Murphy was released and reserve nickel cornerback Quinton Pointer was waived on Saturday afternoon, and in their place Tampa Bay promoted WR/KR Solomon Patton and cornerback Brandon Dixon from the practice squad.
The release of Murphy came as somewhat as a surprise and leaves the Buccaneers with very little experience at the wide receiver position. Besides veteran Vincent Jackson, the Buccaneers have rookie Mike Evans, Chris Owusu, Robert Herron, Russell Shepard and Patton at the receiver position and those five have a combined four NFL starts, all of them by Owusu.
Patton, who appeared to have secured the punt and kickoff return job in the preseason before being released last weekend when the Buccaneers made their final cut downs, could take over the return duties. Bobby Rainey is first on the depth chart at that position, but also is the primary backup to Doug Martin and those two are the only healthy backs on the roster with Mike James still nursing an injury suffered against the Dolphins in the preseason.
The release of Murphy prior to Sunday means the Buccaneers avoided guaranteeing his $795,000 salary. Murphy was added as a free agent this spring.
Dixon (5-11, 203) was a sixth-round (195th overall) pick by the New York Jets in the 2014 NFL Draft, spending this offseason and preseason with them before being waived in the final cuts. Dixon played collegiately at Northwest Missouri State.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org