As teams continue to whittle down their rosters with the regular season right around the corner, fans were surprised to see veteran cornerback Ross Cockrell's name in the Bucs' first round of cuts.
Cockrell was one of six players that Tampa Bay let go of on Tuesday, dropping the team's roster count to 84; leaving them an open slot ahead of this evening's 85-man deadline.
Cockrell played in all 17 games for the Bucs last season and was a steady part of Tampa's secondary on their magical Super Bowl run in 2020.
The NFL world reacted to his cut on social media.
"Ross Cockrell played a ton last year with all the DB injuries — started four games, had 43 tackles. Played 247 snaps on special teams, but a chance for Bucs to get younger and faster. I’d think Cockrell is in another NFL camp quickly," tweeted Greg Auman of The Athletic.
"Ross Cockrell released from Tampa," tweeted a Giants writer.
"If the Cardinals were waiting for unexpected camp releases, here's one to consider," said Chuck Harris. "Ross Cockrell is low cost, $1.4M. PFF gave him a coverage grade of 69.6 and an overall of 68.4 on 475 snaps, 372 in the slot."
"Ross Cockrell had fallen down the depth chart this season. He was working mostly at nickel during camp and was most likely waived in good faith to give him an opportunity to make another team," tweeted JC Allen.
The Bucs also dropped tight end Ben Beise, tackles Curtis Blackwell and Jonathan Hubbard, wide receiver Kameron Brown and outside linebacker JoJo Ozougwu.
As a vested veteran, Cockrell immediately hits free agency upon his release.