Tampa Bay BuccaneersNFL teams will trim their rosters to the regular-season limit in three different steps in the preseason, finally getting down to 53 players on August 30…Also, the league has established rules for the length and intensity of training camp practicesScott Smith
As they gradually fashion a 53-man roster out of a group of 90 training camp players, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will make cuts on each of the final three Tuesdays of August this year.
The NFL has established its summer deadlines for teams to get their rosters down to specific limits, and the first one is at 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, August 16. On or before that day, teams must make the necessary moves to get down to 85 players. At the same time a week later, on August 23, a second wave of moves will trim rosters to 80 players.
The final and most consequential round of cuts before the regular season will fall on August 30. That's when teams have to hit the 53-man limit, which could necessitate up to 27 moves. The Buccaneers first game, at Dallas on September 11, is 12 days later.
This is the same pattern the league established for its roster reductions last year. Prior to that, final cuts traditionally were made on the Saturday before Labor Day. This moves the schedule up four days but the cuts still occur after the final preseason game now that that slate has been shortened to three games.
Each cut will follow one of those three preseason contests. For the Buccaneers, the first five-person round of cuts falls three days after their opening preseason game at home against the Miami Dolphins on August 13. The Bucs then play again at Tennessee on August 20 before the second small cut and finish up at Indianapolis on August 27 prior to the final reduction to 53.
As for training camp, the NFL has also communicated its rules for the gradual ramping up of activity to the point at which teams can start having padded practices. Camps start with what is called an "acclimation period" lasting six days. After players report on Day One, teams can hold practices on Days Two through Five that slowly expand in length and intensity. Players must then be given a day off before returning to work and being allowed to practice in pads.
While teams may have their players on the practice field for 3.5 hours each day, only 90 minutes of that can be run at full speed on Day Two. That increases to 105 minutes on Day Three and 120 minutes on Days Four and Five. There is a similar ramping up of practice time when the pads go on, with 105 minutes of full-speed work on Day Seven, 120 minutes on Day Eight and up to 150 minutes thereafter. All other time on the field must be conducted at walk-through speed.
In addition, players can wear helmets and protective shirts on the first two days of practice, adding shells and spiders for the next two practices before that first day of rest.
The Buccaneers have not yet announced their schedule for training camp at the AdventHealth Training Center.