Tampa Bay Buccaneers There will be 15 rookies in the Bucs' brief mini-camp this weekend, plus six first-year players from the team's existing roster and five veterans participating on tryout contracts Scott Smith
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn't have a rookie mini-camp last spring amid the surging pandemic. They will have one this year, but it won't be quite the same as the rookie camps they've had in the past.
Pre-COVID rookie camps generally were conducted with rosters of 50-plus players, with about half of them in town on tryout contracts. This year, each team is only permitted to bring in five players for tryouts, which means the attendance this weekend will be limited to 26 players overall, including 2021 NFL Draft picks, recently-signed undrafted free agents and returning first-year players from the 2020 roster.
The Buccaneers used their five available tryout spots to bring in players who already have NFL experience rather than additional undrafted rookies. Three of the five are offensive skill-position players: former Michigan wide receiver Amara Darboh, former South Carolina tight end Jerell Adams and former Jackson State running back Troymaine Pope. The other two are defensive backs: former South Carolina State cornerback Antonio Hamilton and former Fresno State safety Curtis Riley.
Here's the roster for this weekend's rookie mini-camp at the AdventHealth Training Center:
All five of the Bucs' tryout players have previous regular-season NFL experience, and all entered the league between 2015 and 2017:
Adams was a sixth-round pick in 2016 by the Giants. He has played in 30 games for the Giants and Texans and was most recently on the Lions' practice squad last year. Darboh was a third-round pick in 2017 by the Seahawks. He played in 13 games for Seattle as a rookie and was most recently with Carolina for several months this offseason. Hamilton signed as an undrafted free agent with Oakland in 2016. He has seen action in 58 games for the Raiders, Giants and Chiefs and played in all 19 games for Kansas City last year, including Super Bowl LV against the Buccaneers. Pope signed as an undrafted free agent with Seattle in 2016. He had played in 24 games with the Jets, Seahawks and Chargers and split last year between the practice squad and active roster in Los Angeles. Riley was an undrafted free agent with the Titans in 2015. He has played in 49 games for the Titans, Cardinals, Vikings, Raiders and Giants and mostly split six games between Minnesota and Arizona last year.
The Buccaneers selected seven players in last month's draft and officially signed nine more undrafted rookies on Thursday. Six players who were on the 2020 offseason roster prior to this weekend round out the roster for the rookie mini-camp. All are considered "first-year players," meaning they have been on an NFL roster but have yet to accrue a season of free agency credit.
Hagan and Leverett spent the entire 2020 regular season on the Buccaneers' practice squad and Smith was on that same crew for the last 10 weeks. Renner and Stanley were signed in February and Hamilton was claimed off waivers from the Cowboys last week.