The backup tight end reportedly was arrested on drug charges Saturday night and didn’t play in Sunday’s game. This isn’t the first time Stevens has run into off-field problems, and the latest arrest means he likely will face a suspension by the NFL.
As we know from Aqib Talib’s legal situation in the 2009 preseason, it sometimes can take a long time for the legal system to play out and the league to issue suspensions. The Bucs could step in and just suspend Stevens or they could even release him.
Not waiting for the legal system potentially could cause problems from the NFL Players Association. But this is a chance for the Buccaneers, who have been a little more stern with character issues than they were in the Jon Gruden/Bruce Allen regime, to stand up and make a statement.
Talib was a first-round draft pick with tremendous upside. Stevens is nothing but a role player. The Bucs could survive quite nicely without him, and I don’t think they’d have to point to his arrest as the official reason for releasing him. They could point to his three catches and call that a lack of production.
There are a lot of other guys out there who can back up Kellen Winslow, catch a few passes and throw some blocks, who don’t come with the headaches that Stevens does. Might be time to show the rest of the roster that the Bucs are trying to do things the right way.