Buccaneers: Why Tampa Bay doesn’t need another running back

Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t need another running back

It’s easy for Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans to get excited about potential names like Devonta Freeman signing or the rumors of a trade for a running back like Leonard Fournette, but that’s truly not what the team needs heading into the 2020 season.

Don’t get me wrong, there would be nothing wrong with signing or trading for another running back. Depth is a concern and running back is a position of question heading into the season.

Can Ronald Jones II truly become an NFL-level starter and a three-down back? Can Dare Ogunbowale take the next step in providing quality depth as a power and explosive guy? What about rookies Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Raymond Calais? Can they step in and provide immediate help at the position?

All these questions have led to Buccaneers fans looking for the franchise to sign or trade for a running back- though there are six on the roster- but the truth is twofold: There is little cap space and there are other positions with greater depth concerns.

Addressing the front-seven should be a priority for the Buccaneers

The Buccaneers front-seven has plenty of talent in the starting group, but there are plenty of questions when it comes to the two-deep. Adding a veteran like Clay Matthews could be the difference between having a solid defense and have a championship-caliber defense.

Tampa Bay needs another edge-rusher to place behind Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul and provide some depth to the front-seven as a whole. That’s a depth need that simply should come before running back.

According to Spotrac, the Buccaneers have less than $5 million left in cap space and the defense is going to have to be addressed more so than anywhere else.

It’s not just about the need to build depth along the front-seven, either.

We’ve all seen Bruce Arians’ air-raid, vertical offense. What’s the point in having an elite running back group when you’re going to throw the ball 70 percent of the time? That was the reason for bringing in Tom Brady and adding a tight end at the caliber of Rob Gronkowski.

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Would it be nice to add another running back? Sure. But a championship-level move would be using remaining funds- and adjusting contracts- to address the defense and make this team more complete heading into the 2020 season.