The Tampa Bay Buccaneers recently waived wide receiver Tyler Johnson, stunning fans who quickly sought answers. Fans and journalists alike pegged Tyler Johnson as one of the players on the roster bubble that would have a spot on this team at the end of August. I was one of them; however, Johnson was waived and quickly snatched up by Lovie Smith and the Houston Texans.
Most believed that Miller was the one on his way out, but why was Tyler Johnson waived and Scotty Miller kept? According to Todd Bowles, it had to do with which receiver in this deeply talented group held the most value. As it turns out, Miller held more value on special teams than Johnson. Todd Bowles & company had some very tough decisions to make, and the decision to waive Tyler Johnson had to have been one of the tougher ones.
“That was tough. Again, we have a lot of receivers and when you get down to a fifth and sixth receiver – Jaelon [Darden] returns punts and kicks, [and] Tyler [Johnson] was the sixth receiver to dress on Sundays. You’ve got to be able to play special teams and contribute. [He is] a great pass receiver; very good catcher – he can catch the ball – [he’s] a very good player, but no special teams value. Once you get down past the top four and five, you’ve got to have more value than just catching the football because you won’t dress on Sundays. You know, that was a big reason behind it. We felt ‘BP’ (Breshad Perriman) can do a lot of things on special teams; we feel Scotty [Miller] can do some things as well. So that’s what it came down to.”
Although he was just the 6th receiver, with little minimal special teams appearances, he had good hands and could catch the ball when thrown to him. During his 2 seasons with the Buccaneers, Johnson was targeted 72 times in the regular season, catching 48 of those targets for 529 yards, 23 first downs, and 2 touchdowns. He made the most of his limited time on the field. While appearing in 6 post-season games, he was targeted 13 times, catching 7 for 76 yards. Johnson certainly played his part in helping the Buccaneers during the team’s two recent playoff runs.
Now that Johnson has been scooped up by the Houston Texans, he will see more playing time on the field and be more appreciated. Coach Lovie Smith even said that organization had its eye on Johnson. Not only will Johnson fit right in, but he will instantly become another reliable set of hands for QB David Mills this season.
“Waiver wire, when it comes out, we look at all of our players, and as you go through the process, through the draft, you see a lot of guys. You can’t get them all. Tyler is a player that we liked for a period of time, and he was available. We continue to look to upgrade the roster; it made sense. Excited about him coming here.”
Johnson may not have had much of a chance sitting behind the talent that is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ first 5 receivers, but with the Houston Texans, he now has every chance in the world to leave his mark on the NFL.
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