In addition to releasing Michael Koenen, the Buccaneers have waived three players to reach the 75-man roster limit Tuesday and placed Akeem Spence (back) on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list. Spence will be eligible to return after six weeks.

Of the three players who were waived, the most notable include cornerback Leonard Johnson and wide receiver Robert Herron. Tampa Bay also waived center Josh Allen, who didn’t play a down since joining the practice squad in September, 2014.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans SaintsJohnson, an undrafted free agent out of Iowa State in 2012, has spent the past three seasons as the team’s primary nickel corner. For his career, Johnson has tallied 148 tackles, five interceptions and five fumbles. The 25-year old struggled at times last season, as both head coach Lovie Smith and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier singled out the nickel position as an area they needed to get better play from.

Tampa Bay rotated in Isaiah Frey last season and signed former Cowboy Sterling Moore, who’s recently been taking reps at nickel, this past offseason.

On Tuesday Frazier spoke about how critical the nickel corner is to the defense and the impact Johnson’s release has on the position.

“Unfortunately, Leonard gets injured and we knew we weren’t going to have him for a while and then some other guys have to step up,” Frazier said. “That gives Isaiah Frey a chance and Sterling Moore a chance. Those guys will probably be the primary guys competing for the job. We have one other guy, Jude (Adjei-Barimah) – I won’t even try to pronounce his last game – but he’ll have a chance to compete and get some reps in the Thursday night game as well. He’s a young kid from Bowling Green who’s shown flashes here at training camp. We have some options, but hopefully one of those guys will step up and be the guy.”

In Herron’s case, while the second-year pro seemed to be making strides and turning heads at camp, he was battling in a deep group of wide receivers. The Buccaneers will likely keep no more than seven wideouts, and Herron’s lack of involvement in the return game might have hurt his chances.

Herron, a sixth-round pick in 2014, barely cracked the lineup his rookie year and only caught six passes for 58 yards and one touchdown.

Because these three players were waived (less than four years of NFL experience), it is not out of the question that Tampa Bay could bring them back. If none of the 31 other teams make a claim, the Buccaneers are free to sign them within league rules.

 

 

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About the Author: Zach Shapiro

Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders. Contact him at: zshapiro12@gmail.com
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Horse
Horse
5 years ago

Really no surprises. Go Bucs!

kino
kino
Reply to  Horse
5 years ago

Little surprised with Josh Allen this early as he can play a bit !! Koenens salary goes to Jake Long or another trade because L and L didn’t do what was needed 8 weeks ago.I wouldn’t say its out of the question that if a trade is made that EDS may be in trouble, I know that’s crazy talk with the state of the O Line but with failure comes blame with blame sometimes come change. Three choices of blame L and L, O line Coach or Player you do the math Buc Fans!! Very doubtful but not out of… Read more »

georgehicks
georgehicks
Reply to  Horse
5 years ago

Well Horse I agree with you. It seems that the bucs has several big problems.1.no#1 They need another veteran qb to get be ready if JW is not ready this year. Glen is OK.! But if they don’t get the team right this year Tampa could be what the expertse says they will get no#1 pick again. and will they spend another one pick on another qb! Go Bucs

pinkstob
pinkstob
5 years ago

I hope L. Johnson is gone for good. Short, slow and average instincts does not a good CB make. I’m always sad to see a draft pick not work out, even the low rounders. Best of luck Herron and even Johnson. Nothing personal, just not a good CB.

mjmoody
mjmoody
Reply to  pinkstob
5 years ago

Heard, and agree. Isn’t that the tough thing w/ this incarnation of the Tampa2? This sole position nickel requires an athletic speedy instinctual FS to truly be great. The Bucs don’t have that guy & those traits are a high draft pick these days. As a side note: you got to like what you’ve seen out of Sweringer. But AGAIN, this iteration of the 2 requires some very diverse athletic guys–which you hope we have–but if not then it could be another high set of draft picks. We like out D strong in Tampa, but I think that adds to… Read more »

mjmoody
mjmoody
Reply to  mjmoody
5 years ago

and the Bucs do own 1st rights on the waiver wire through the first three games. (Rose colored lenses) Again, developmental year.

Buctebow
Buctebow
5 years ago

I expect the roster to be like the final musical chair in the next 2 weeks with cut down and the waiver wire, it will be interesting when the music stops.

Buctebow
Buctebow
5 years ago

final? where’d that come from

drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

Kino, Dirk Koetter specifically pointed out Evan Smith as being one of the few players who had a good game Saturday night.
I think he knows more than your prejudiced eye.
Wasn’t to surprised about the results of Saturday’s game after looking up when the Browns last played.
Their previous preseason game was nie days prior to the Bucs and the Bucs was only four.
Who do you think was better rested and playing with less pain when you consider those facts.
Some of you hysterical types need to get a brain and look up some facts.

drdneast
drdneast
5 years ago

Mjmoody, neither Lynch or Jackson were particularly speedy but they did both have great football instincts.
Your summation is wrong.