Tampa Bay Buccaneers Make Several Tweaks To Their 53-Man Roster

Daniel Benjamin

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held the top spot in the waiver wire and they took advantage of that privilege, claiming five players.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported that the Buccaneers, who finished with a NFL worst 2-14 mark last season, picked up defensive end Kourtnei Brown, linebacker Jeremiah George, quarterback Ryan Griffin, linebacker James-Michael Johnson, and center Michael Kush today.

However, according to the Houston Chronicle Brown had several key break-downs as a run-stopper this preseason and permitted long-runs by New Orleans running backs that resulted in at least one touchdown in week three.

The Bucs are the seventh team Brown has been on since going undrafted out of Clemson in 2012. He also has spent time in San Francisco, Washington, Buffalo, Detroit, and St. Louis though he has never appeared in a regular season game.

John Kania of Buccaneers.com believes Brown will see time as a pass-rusher specialist this year.

George is an undersized linebacker who led the Jacksonville Jaguars with 21 tackles this preseason. The Iowa State product was a fifth-round selection of the New York Jets in 2014. George joined the Jets practice squad before signing with the Jaguars last year, where he registered six tackles in six games. George also excels on special teams.

Griffin was claimed off waivers from New Orleans. The six-foot, five-inch, 25-year-old had spent the previous two seasons with the Saints, splitting time with their practice and active squads, after going undrafted out of Tulane in 2013. He has not appeared in a regular season game.

Griffin, who is tough to sack, showed some promise this preseason. He completed 24-of-41 passes for 264 yards to go along with one touchdown and one interception.

While Griffin is a promising prospect, he is expected to continue developing his skill set this year as Tampa Bay is set with Jameis Winston as starter and Mike Glennon as his backup.

Johnson possesses the most experience of the Bucs recent pickups. The 26-year old has appeared in 42 NFL games with 18 starts over three seasons in the league. Johnson was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round out of Nevada in 2012 and spent the previous two years with the Kansas City Chiefs -- where he recorded 68 tackles, one sack, two passes defended and two forced fumbles.

Kush is also a former Chief. The 2013 sixth round selection out of the California University of Pennsylvania was inactive for most of last season but he did appear in three games for Kansas City as a rookie. To make room for the five new acquisitions, Tampa Bay cut LB Jason Williams, TE Cameron Brate, G Kadeem Edwards, T Reid Fragel and WR Rannell Hall. Williams is a vested veteran so he does not have to go through waivers while Edwards was waived as an injured player -- meaning if he is not claimed he will be reverted back to the Bucs unless they buy him out.

In addition, the Tampa Bay Times has reported that the Bucs have started to fill their practice squad with WR Donteea Dye, LB Josh Keyes and DB Jude Adjei-Barimah, WR Kaelin Clay, T Edawn Caughman, LB/DE Edward Jones, CB Imoan Claiborne, and T Terren Jones.

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/ Getty Images)