Buccaneers Sign Defender, Linked to Speedy Ex-Jets Receiver

Vyncint Smith

Getty The Buccaneers worked out receiver Vyncint Smith.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to make roster moves to add depth ahead of their Divisional Round matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. The Bucs announced the re-signing of cornerback Rashard Robinson and worked out former Jets wide receiver Vyncint Smith, per the NFL transaction wire.

Robinson joins wideout Justin Watson as another player who was released prior to the team’s postseason matchup against the Eagles only to be re-signed heading into the Divisional Round. Both were cut last week to make room for key players coming off the Injured Reserve list.

Robinson played four games last season for the Cowboys, including three starts. The veteran corner has made seven appearances for the Buccaneers this season.

“Robinson later spent six weeks on injured reserve due to a hamstring injury suffered on the practice field, but he returned in Week 16 and overall has played in seven games, primarily on special teams,” Buccaneers.com’s Scott Smith detailed on January 19. “An outstanding gunner on the punt team, Robinson recorded two kick-coverage tackles during the regular season.

“The Buccaneers had an open spot on the practice squad after releasing punter Sterling Hofrichter and cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson on Tuesday, and thus didn’t have to make a corresponding move when re-signing Robinson.”

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Smith Ran a 4.36 Time in the 40-Yard Dash

Smith played the last three seasons with the Jets after making seven appearances during his rookie year with the Texans in 2018. The wideout played in two games this season for the Jets and his best year came in 2019 when the Smith notched 17 receptions for 225 yards.

Smith has the rare combination of size and speed that NFL teams covet but continues to look for a long-term home. The 6’3″, 202-pound receiver ran a 4.36-second time in the 40-yard dash at his 2018 pro day coming out of Limestone College, per the Jets official website.

“I think I’m 4.3,” Smith said in October 2019, per NewYorkJets.com. “Not a 4.39. Low 4.3’s, yessir.”

The Buccaneers Are Dealing With a Depleted Receiver Depth Chart

The Buccaneers are dealing with a litany of injuries at wide receiver. Tampa lost Chris Godwin for the season with an ACL injury and released Antonio Brown after an outburst during the team’s Week 17 victory against the Jets.

Cyril Grayson was sidelined in the Wild Card round and his status against the Rams remains uncertain. Breshad Perriman is also dealing with an injury but was able to suit up against Philadelphia.

Tampa Bay signed former Buffalo starting receiver John Brown heading into the playoffs and are exploring potentially adding Smith. Brown was not active against the Eagles but is one of the protected players on the Bucs practice squad this week.

Heading into the postseason, star receiver Mike Evans emphasized that it is up to the players on the field to step up while others are sidelined.

“They’re all proven players,” Evans noted during his January 12 press conference, per Buccaneers.com. “BP [Perriman] was with us, and he knows most of the guys on the team already, so that was an easy transition for him. I felt like he never left actually. I wish he was here last year to be a part of that, but hopefully this year, we can get it. It’s been the same. We’ve just been working hard and whoever is in, is in and they have to make plays.”