The recent release of Bobo Wilson was very much expected. Even before our last game, he hadn’t really been able to stand out as a productive receiver for the Bucs offense. He wasn’t targeted at all through the first two games of the season. From Weeks 3 to 6, he was targeted 10 times only catching three balls for 35 yards. Keep in mind, several times he was targeted he just flat out dropped the ball. So Wilson’s release was very much justified.
However, the release didn’t exactly solve the Bucs problem; the widespread production from our receiving corp is still much smaller than expected. For one, our talented tight ends in O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate were expected to have a much bigger role in the offense; Howard, in particular, was anticipated for a breakout year. With the upcoming matchup with the Tennessee Titans in Week 8, I can’t help but think of their receiver Adam Humphries.
For those who don’t know, Humphries was a member of our receiving corp from 2015-2018. He was a reliable target for Jameis Winston, being especially productive on short routes. Among the fans, he was especially popular because of his visible improvement each year. In fact, Humphries was Winston’s number two target with 105 targets in 2018 behind only Mike Evans who had 138 targets.
So if he was so productive and valuable to the offense, why isn’t he on the team this year?
Call it poor management by Jason Licht and the front office or the cruel nature of the NFL when it comes to keeping players on the roster. But the salary cap is universally pointed to as the culprit for stripping Humphries from the Bucs. With all of his production, he was about to become too expensive, and rightfully so, for the Bucs to afford.
Despite the QB controversy brewing in Tennessee this season, Humphries has been rather productive. He has racked up 25 catches for 229 yards with his best game being in Week 3 against the Jacksonville Jaguars where he racked up six catches for 93 yards. Although he has no touchdowns, Humphries strength was never in the red zone. Rather, he was always the reliable target who was always capable of picking up run after catch (RAC) yards.
Heading into Week 8, the Bucs desperately miss the services of Humphries. Unless the offense can learn to spread the ball around among the receivers, Winston will continue to be predictable in the sense where defensive backs will always expect him to throw it to Mike Evans or Chris Godwin. I’m eager to see if Arians will turn to his playmaking tight ends soon. Or perhaps an unknown receiver will emerge as a top target much in the way Humphries did. Whatever the case, something needs to change soon or the Bucs offense will never realize its potential.