Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon tabbed Vaughn as a likely cut candidate this offseason. Vaughn has 342 yards and two touchdowns on 79 carries in three seasons despite 37 game appearances.
“Ke’Shawn Vaughn has contributed more on special teams than as a runner in three seasons,” Kenyon noted. “Rachaad White is the Bucs’ starter, and they signed Chase Edmonds and added undrafted rookie Sean Tucker — an All-American at Syracuse in 2021. Vaughn is on cut alert.”
Playing special teams is a determining factor for Bucs head coach Todd Bowles in making roster moves. In Vaughn’s case, he played 46% of the team’s special teams plays in 2022, a three-percent dip from 2021.
Despite the trade speculation, Bucs general manager Jason Licht indicated his satisfaction with Vaughn on the roster. The Bucs selected Vaughn out of Vanderbilt in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
“We really like Ke’Shawn. We’ve always liked Ke’Shawn,” Licht told reporters before this year’s draft. “I know he’s been with us for three years, but he really hasn’t gotten opportunities. When he has, he’s done some good things.”
Bucs RB Additions Put Ke’Shawn Vaughn in Tough Spot
While the Bucs didn’t pick a running back in the draft, the team signed Tucker as an undrafted free agent amid health issues. Tucker tallied 3,182 yards rushing and 27 touchdowns plus 64 catches for 622 yards and four scores in 33 career games with the Orange.
Tucker hasn’t been practicing, according to Pewter Report, but should get cleared by training camp according to FOX Sports’ Greg Auman. Tucker’s heart condition came up during the NFL Draft process, and he couldn’t participate in the combine because of it according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Even if Tucker doesn’t pose a threat to Vaughn landing a roster spot, Edmonds will challenge Vaughn in addition to boasting mores experience. The former Fordham standout has 18 career starts amid 70 games played in five seasons.
He rushed for 245 yards and two touchdowns plus 16 catches for 157 yards and a score in 2022 with two different teams. Despite a subpar year, he had single-season career highs of 592 yards rushing in 2021 and five offensive touchdowns in 2019 and 2020.
“It’s on the film from my first four years doing it,” Edmonds said, via the Tampa Bay Times in April. “I know I can be an elite third running back in this league, and I’m going be one of those guys where I’m a big-time mismatch with linebackers coming out of the backfield, and I’m eager to prove them wrong.”
Rachaad White Looks Poised for Starting Role
White emerged as the front-runner for RB1 after a promising rookie season. He grabbed the starting job from former Bucs running back Leonard Fournette midway through the 2022 season.
A former Arizona State star, White tallied 481 rushing yards and a touchdown plus 50 catches for 290 yards and two scores in 2022. White switched his jersey number to No. 1 this offseason as expects to take steps forward.
“This is a new year,” White told JoeBucsFan.com on Tuesday, May 31. “Fresh things, fresh start. New everything, new vibe.”