During last Week’s victory against the Arizona Cardinals, those who watched the game witnessed former 2016 11th overall pick, Vernon Hargreaves, benched for an apparent lack of hustle. When he was asked about being benched, he was pragmatic and didn’t respond negatively saying: When he was asked about being benched, he was pragmatic and didn’t respond negatively, saying:
“If that’s what coach saw, then that’s what coach saw. There’s no arguing it. I need to hustle, point-blank, end of discussion, and I’ll get better. I’m sure I’ll talk with him this week, and we’ll get things straightened out, and we’ll see where to go from here.” -Per Jenna Laine, ESPN.
It would appear that where he was going was right out of the door.
This is quite the fall for the player, who was once projected to be a first-round pick and was duly selected in the first round by Tampa Bay.
Although the veteran had his struggles, he was played out of position in previous schemes and wasn’t ever put in a position to succeed with previous regimes. Things should have changed with Todd Bowles’s new scheme. Initially, Hargreaves showed flashes of promise, certainly over the first two games. However, since that point, VH3 has been beaten often and according to the Bucs Front Office, too many times.
While Hargreaves has certainly had his issues and will leave the Bucs with 30 games played, 17 passes defended and just 2 interceptions with 2 forced fumbles,
The timing of this release yells “Scapegoat” and is becoming a worrying trend for this head coach.
The coaching staff may feel like Hargreaves isn’t a future starter or a veteran, but the cutting of VH3 right now adds nothing beneficial to the team. He isn’t a free agent that walked to put the team in position for a comp draft pick. He isn’t a locker room cancer.
Fans might agree with such an extreme course of action, but this move makes little footballing sense.
Statement from Buccaneers GM Jason Licht:
“After thoughtful consideration over the past few weeks, coach Bruce Arians and I came to the conclusion that we needed to make this change, decisions such as this are always difficult, but I felt it was in the best interest of our team to part ways with Vernon at this time and allow him to explore other opportunities. We are disappointed that it did not work out here for Vernon, and we wish him continued success moving forward.”