The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released fullback-tight end Danny Vitale, the team’s sixth-round pick. PewterReport.com has confirmed the news that was first reported by Tampa Bay Times writer Greg Auman. Vitale was outplayed by Alan Cross, an undrafted free agent fullback-tight end from Memphis, in the preseason.
Vitale, who was a primary offensive weapon at Northwestern, struggled as a lead-blocking fullback, and had just two catches for three yards heading into Wednesday night’s preseason finale against Washington. Vitale dropped a pass in that game, in addition to another drop in the preseason, but did have one reception for eight yards against the Redskins.
Cross entered the final preseason game with two catches for 20 yards, and had a 7-yard reception versus Washington. He is expected to be one of five tight ends the Bucs plan on keeping this year, which include Cameron Brate, Luke Stocker, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Brandon Myers. Head coach Dirk Koetter likes to use two- and three-tight end sets.
If Vitale, who had three special teams tackles, clears waivers and the team thinks highly enough of him he could return to Tampa Bay as a practice squad player.