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In a surprise move, the Bucs have released wide receiver/return specialist Jaydon Mickens.

Mickens was released to make room for offensive lineman John Molchon, who has come off the Reserve/Injured list. Rookie Jaelon Darden, the team’s fourth-round draft pick, will replace Mickens as the Bucs’ primary kick and punt returner.

Mickens originally signed to the Bucs practice squad in December of 2019. In 2020 he assumed the role as the team’s kick returner. Mickens returned 14 kickoffs for 340 yards, while returning 16 punts for 99 yards. In the playoff Mickens was spectacular with 10 returns for 222 yards and a long of 43 yards.

Through five games this season Mickens has five kick returns for 129 yards including a long of 41 yards. He was averaging 25.3 yards per return. In the punt game he brought back eight punts for 54 yards. His longest a 12-yard return.

The Bucs also signed veteran cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson to the practice squad and released rookie outside linebacker Elijah Ponder.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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1 month ago

I’m looking forward to seeing what Darden can do.

Reply to  ScottC543
1 month ago

From what we have seen so far, not much

1 month ago

Interesting. I mean to be honest, he was an average Return Specialist at best but besides the one drop Thursday Night he was sure handed on fielding the kicks, that’s just as important as his return yardage. But also, he was serviceable when put in the game as a WR but in all honesty he could be easily replaced as long as his replacement doesn’t drop the ball. Darden is here to stay and has much more upside so even if there are a few growing pains for him in the return game I think a roster spot is much… Read more »

1 month ago

Valid points were mentioned above. I wonder if the Bucs know about some upcoming news regarding Mickens legal issues that haven’t been made public yet.

Reply to  4girls
1 month ago

I was thinking the same. They may lose him anyways

1 month ago

Must see something in John Molchon.

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