As the 4 p.m. ET roster cut deadline approaches, the Buccaneers and Colts have completed a trade involving second-year inside linebacker Grant Stuard. Along with Stuard, the Buccaneers sent a 2023 seventh-round pick to the Colts in exchange for Indianapolis’ sixth-round pick in the upcoming draft.
The “Mr. Irrelevant” of the 2021 NFL Draft, Stuard recorded 15 tackles and one forced fumble as a rookie while playing mostly on special teams. He received defensive snaps in three games last season while helping the Buccaneers win their Premier League title since 2007.
Stuard played his college football in Houston, where he saw his time as a defensive back and running back before moving into linebacker before his senior season. Named team captain before the start of the 2020 season, Stuard led Houston in tackles while leading the American Athletic Conference in average tackles per game.
Stuard joins a Colts linebacker corps led by Darius Leonard, a three-time All-Pro who last season led the NFL with eight forced fumbles. With Stuard’s departure, the Buccaneers now have five inside linebackers, including starters Lavonte David and Devin White. KJ Britt, a fifth-round pick in last year’s draft, is expected to be David and White’s primary replacement.
How did the two teams fare in this trade? Here’s how the Buccaneers and Colts ranked.
The Colts did not give up much to acquire a 23-year-old player with considerable potential. Stuard is also an accomplished special teams player who can more than defend when asked to play linebacker. He is a nice addition to a team looking to add depth in the middle of their defense.
Pay tribute to the Buccaneers for getting something in return for a player they had no intention of keeping. That being said, it’s somewhat surprising that the Buccaneers have decided to part ways with a player whose best football should be ahead of him.
How Stuard performs in Indianapolis will ultimately determine who wins this trade, but for now, it looks like the Colts got the better end of the deal.