The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are making a change at punter as the team plans to release starter Bradley Pinion, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. Despite training camp being more than a month away, it has been a busy week for the Bucs with roster moves, rumors and Rob Gronkowski announcing his retirement.
“The Buccaneers are releasing P Bradley Pinion today, source says,” Garafolo tweeted on June 22, 2022. “Tampa drafted Jake Camarda in the fourth round. Pinion, who kicked and punted through a torn hip labrum and hip impingement last year, passed a physical yesterday. Expect multiple teams to have interest.”
Pinion’s release officially signals the beginning of rookie Jake Camarda taking over the starting spot. The Buccaneers selected the former Georgia punter in the forth round with the No. 133 overall pick.
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The Bucs Gain an Estimated $2 Million in Cap Space
The Athletic’s Greg Auman labeled Pinion’s release as “fully expected” after the selection of Camarda. The Buccaneers gain an estimated $2 million in cap space by cutting the veteran punter.
“Bucs are cutting punter Bradley Pinion today, as @MikeGarafolo first reported,” Auman noted in a series of June 22 tweets. “This was fully expected once they drafted Jake Camarda in the fourth round in April. Pinion was outstanding on kickoffs last 2 years but his punting stats weren’t as good. Pushed through injury in ’21.
“Bucs gain about $2 million in cap space by cutting Bradley Pinion. They shed all of his $2.9 million salary with no dead money, but he’s replaced in top 51 by a player with a $895k cap number. They now have about $12 million in cap space for 2022.”
Pinion Earned a 63.9 Grade From Pro Football Focus for 2021
Former NFL punter-turned analyst Pat McAfee is a big fan of Camarda’s game, and the Bucs’ selection of the Bulldogs specialist. McAfee took to Twitter during the draft to show Camarda some love.
“LET’S GOOOOOOO,” McAfee tweeted on April 30. “First time I watched cuzzie Jake (can’t find his Twitter) I said ‘oh… that dude has a Sunday leg.’ He’s gonna do his thing in Tampa.”
Pinion is a seven-year NFL veteran and spent the last three seasons with the Buccaneers. The kicker received a solid 81.1 grade from Pro Football Focus for kickoffs but struggled punting earning just a 63.9 overall.
Suh Is No Longer an Option for the Bucs
Another starter who will not be with the Buccaneers when the season kicks off is star defender Ndamukong Suh. Despite remaining unsigned, Suh admitted his time with the Bucs is coming to a close. This is also an expected move after the Buccaneers opted to sign longtime Bears veteran Akiem Hicks signaling the end of the Suh era in Tampa.
“And @NdamukongSuh on ESPN2’s NFL Live, on where he might be in the future: ‘It looks like the Bucs are out of the picture,'” ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted on June 20. “But Suh did say he would like to continue playing.”