Just for fun, the Tampa Bay Bucs may have cut Josh Freeman all over again Thursday night.
This time, they may have erased him from the roster of the Miami Dolphins.
The Bucs won a 22-17 victory over the Dolphins, and in the last stages of the game, safety Keith Tandy picked off Freeman twice to snuff out Miami’s final threats and, finally, gave Bucs’ fans a reason to celebrate Freeman throwing interceptions.
Freeman was already in a fight to make the Dolphins’ roster, running fourth team through preseason and showing just how fragile a roster spot can be in the NFL. At one point, Freeman looked like a rising star for the Bucs, throwing 25 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2010 before being cut after missing several meetings and falling out of favor with then-coach Greg Schiano. Freeman, who had also failed in Minnesota and with the New York Giants, might have had his last chance.
For the Bucs, it was about last chances, however, as most of the team’s starters sat out the final preseason game. Instead, that game was used so players such as Khaseem Greene, Kyle Brindza and Adam Humphries could make their final arguments for roster spots.
Greene had a game-high 10 tackles and returned an interception 98 yards for a touchdown. Tandy had two interceptions, a fumble recovery and eight tackles. Brindza, the kicker acquired in a trade from Detroit, hit a 55-and a 57-yard field goal.
Then there were the receivers. Both Humphries and Rannell Hall caught four passes Thursday night. Humphries also returned punts and kickoffs, which may make his argument for a roster spot strong, although Hall has had a nice camp.
One player who is assured of a spot on the roster is former Bears’ Pro Bowl corner Tim Spencer, who was signed to a contract Thursday. Spencer joins a crowded secondary.
The running game didn’t establish itself. Charles Sims gained no yards on five carries, and Bobby Rainey averaged only 2.5 yards on 11. Mike James averaged 4.5 on his 11.