The Baltimore Ravens cut ties with running back Alex Collins following an accident and arrest; the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should steer clear.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had up and down success at the running back position for the past several years. Last season saw a down year with Peyton Barber, now a restricted free agent, while struggling to get things going and rookie Ronald Jones fighting even to see the field.
Collins is just 24 and has had some success in the league. Collins racked up 516 total yards and eight touchdowns in 2018, this was his second year in Baltimore, splitting time in the backfield with fellow backs Gus Edwards, Javorius Allen, and Kenneth Dixon and even quarterback Lamar Jackson. In 2017 he was able to put up 973 rushing yards and six touchdowns. This was without splitting carries between 3 running backs and a quarterback. Collins could be an interesting pick up for Tampa, but I don’t think they should attack this one.
There is the chance he could be facing discipline from the NFL. The Bucs will be better off using a draft pick and trying to obtain a quality, younger back than sign Collins. This question becomes even less complicated now that Adam Schefter broke the news that Collins was arrested on gun and drug charges following his accident.
The Bucs run game is destined to be better than it was last season with a new coach and what is expected to be an improved offensive line. Ronald Jones also deserves a chance to prove his worth not just for him but also the Bucs can’t afford to throw away second round selections. We have heard new coach Bruce Arians talk up the former USC back and I expect that he and Peyton Barber will get another chance to show what they can do under new coaches, should he rejoin the team in 2019.
The Bucs will want to allocate the slim amount of money they have on other areas of need, such as on the secondary and offensive line. Collins is a good back, but he also isn’t known to be a pass catcher. Would he bring an element to the group that isn’t there already? Expect the Bucs to be wise, for once, and pass on Collins.