The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be forced to move on from one of their top fan favorites.
According to Alex Kay of Bleacher Report, one player that the Buccaneers must place on the trade block in the preseason is none other than wide receiver Scotty Miller. The 25-year-old receiver was limited to just nine games last season due to injuries and currently finds himself in a positional logjam with the Buccaneers’ depth at receiver.
As Kay notes, the Bucs’ loaded depth at receiver makes a trade for Miller worth pursuing.
Bucs’ Loaded Depth Makes Miller Expendable
“Although the club was hamstrung by injuries to the receiving corps during last year’s playoff run, the Bucs have Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage locked in as their top three options,” says Kay. “Julio Jones could play a sizable role as well after signing in late July. Behind those four, Miller would be battling with the likes of Tyler Johnson, Cyril Grayson Jr. and Breshad Perriman to round out the roster.”
While trading Miller likely wouldn’t net much draft capital in a trade, it’s better than nothing if the Bucs were to simply cut the 5-foot-9, 174-pound receiver.
“Miller could return some draft capital that will assist the team in preparing for life without quarterback Tom Brady,” explains Kay. “The club was ill-prepared to lose the future Hall of Famer during his brief retirement this year and could better position itself to replace him by having more assets going forward.”
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Miller’s Role in 2021 Regressed Compared to 2020 Season
Miller produced just five receptions for 38 yards on nine targets on 135 offensive snaps last season. For perspective, Miller caught a pass once every 27 plays. By comparison, Miller caught 33 passes for 501 yards and three touchdowns during the 2020 season. In 440 offensive snaps, Miller caught a pass roughly every 15 plays. In other words, his usage rate during the 2020 was far better than his non-existent performance during the 2021 season.
As Kay notes, Miller’s usage rate in 2022 with the Buccaneers is unlikely to improve considering their bloated depth chart.
“The 2019 sixth-rounder battled injuries last year that limited him to nine active games,” says Kay. “He would catch just five passes for 38 yards across 135 snaps in those contests, a disappointing regression and a usage rate that is unlikely to improve with so much talent ahead of him in 2022.”
The Buccaneers’ top four receiver slots are locked up in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage and Julio Jones. While Tampa Bay could keep as many as seven receivers on its roster, one will likely go to a special teams standout (such as Jaelon Darden). The remaining one or two slots will be a battle between Miller, Tyler Johnson, Cyril Grayson and Breshad Perriman.
Considering Johnson has impressed early on in the preseason — he caught a team-leading six receptions for 73 yards in the team’s opener versus the Miami Dolphins — one might consider him an early favorite to lock in one of the Buccaneers’ final receiver spots.
While Miller emerged as one of Brady’s favorite targets during their run to the Super Bowl during the 2020 season, it’s probably time to move on from him.