TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — This season, the NFL has just one roster cut deadline, compared to the incremental cuts they used to have throughout the preseason. Teams will go from 90 players all the way to 53 after their third and final preseason games.
Bucs’ head coach Todd Bowles said roster decisions will be more challenging this year compared to last, with a ton of ability and effort across the board in this locker room.
“I think they’ve been going hard the whole time,” Bowles said about his team’s effort through camp. “These guys have been practicing hard the whole time. The intensity is always there and it’s always going to be tough when you’ve got to get down, especially now since you’ve got to make one big cut. That’s going to be tough for a lot of guys. You hate to tell guys that they can’t play anymore – at least in the initial part of it. There’s a lot of different leagues they can go to, but that’s always tough when you have to cut it down.”
Bowles has said that the outside linebacker room will have some particularly tough decisions, with plenty of talented players at that position. Beyond the top few on the depth chart, he highlighted a few others that have stood out.
“Obviously, Yaya [Diaby] made an impact when he was healthy – hopefully he’s back this week,” Bowles said. “He practiced (Tuesday), so that’s a good thing. [Markees] Watts and Cam [Gill] have both done very well. Obviously, [Jose] Ramirez is hurt. [Charles] Snowden was making progress before he got hurt and he came back, so it’ll be a big game for everybody this weekend.”
There will be cuts across different positions and experience levels, with 37 players not making the 53-man roster. In looking specifically at the rookies, there are a number that have a chance to make the cut.
“There’s a bunch of them,” Bowles said. “They all play well and they all do certain things. We really like this class and it’s all of them – even the ones that don’t make the team. We really like this class and it’s really tough. They are definitely more athletic and faster than what we’ve had in the past. There will be a lot of guys that contribute this year.”
The league deadline for NFL teams to get their rosters to 53 is Tuesday, Aug. 29, at 4:00 p.m. ET.