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NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5 Veterans Who Won’t Make the 53-Man Roster

Tampa Bay: 5 Veterans Who Won't Make the 53-Man Roster

Lovie
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Buccaneers have undergone and extreme makeover this offseason. With Lovie Smith installed as the new head coach, he has brought in a number of “his guys” to help right the ship in Tampa Bay. He's also jettisoned a number of others who he didn't see buying into his system. The Bucs will have a far different look in 2014, and not just because of those hideous new uniforms.

Here are five veterans who likely won't make the final 53-man squad.

5. Michael Koenen, Punter

Koenen
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

5. Michael Koenen, Punter

Koenen
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Despite signing a six-year, million deal in 2011 – a pretty lucrative deal for a punter – Koenen hasn't lived up to the expectations that came with the price tag. Though he's been more than solid as a kickoff specialist, Koenen's punting game is lacking – ranking 25th in net punting in 2013. That combined with a solid tryout from rookie Kirby Van Der Kamp during minicamp could spell the end for Koenen in Tampa Bay.

4. Luke Stocker, Tight End

Stocker
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4. Luke Stocker, Tight End

Stocker
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Though he has the tools to be an effective tight end in the NFL, Stocker's problem is that he can't stay on the field long enough to prove it. In three NFL seasons, Stocker has played in just 32 games, and hasn't put up the numbers to justify his roster spot. To that end, the Bucs have added former NY Giant Brandon Myers and drafted Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the second round this year, all but ending Stocker's days in Tampa Bay.

3. Mike James, Running Back

James
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

3. Mike James, Running Back

James
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

As a sixth-round draft pick in 2013, James was a long shot to even make the final roster then. But he did and was a very solid contributor to the team. His versatility allowed him to do a number of different things well, but he wasn't a superstar. The problem for James is that RB is one of the most crowded positions on the team, and given that he's not the home run threat some of the others are, he may find himself looking for work elsewhere.

2. Leonard Johnson, Cornerback

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Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

2. Leonard Johnson, Cornerback

Johnson
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Though very well liked in the community and in the locker room, Johnson appears to be facing an uphill battle to make the final 53-man roster. New head coach Lovie Smith has added pieces to the secondary like former Bears corner DJ Moore, all but guaranteeing him the starting job. Though he's performed very respectably for the Bucs, Johnson may be a victim of the new regime in Tampa Bay, kicked to the curb because he's not one of “their guys.”

1. Da'Quan Bowers, Defensive End

Bowers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

1. Da'Quan Bowers, Defensive End

Bowers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In 2011, Tampa Bay used a second-round pick on the former All-American from Clemson with the expectation that he would play alongside Adrian Clayborn and give the Bucs a ferocious front. He hasn't come close to living up to those expectations. Bowers has just 5.5 sacks and 45 total tackles in his career, and the Bucs front office has brought in a number of pieces who are capable of replacing Bowers on the roster.