What the Buccaneers need to do
The Buccaneers definitely have more talent in their running back room than in past years, that much is undeniable. The biggest issue is that the Bucs don’t need six running backs. In fact, Tampa Bay doesn’t “need” more than three.
When you break down the play calling and the usage of backs, there is almost no reason to keep five or six backs on the roster. The Buccaneers are a pass-first team, and they will continue to do so with Brady at the helm.
Tampa Bay has enough versatility with its first three that keeping three other backs on the roster seems like a mistake with roster allocation. If the Bucs keep ten offensive linemen, two quarterbacks, four tight ends, and six wide receivers, they will already be at 22 offensive personnel without the running backs.
If the Bucs plan on keeping three special teams players (punter, kicker, long snapper) that can’t play other positions, they will want to end up with approximately 25 offensive players, meaning there is space for three running backs in this scenario.
The other problem with the five-back idea is that the Bucs would have to free up space at quarterback and at tight end to add to the roster in other areas. Parting ways with Ryan Griffin makes sense, but taking four tight ends seems like too few.
It will be tough to thin the unit to make it fit the roster, but keeping five backs seems like an impossibility for the time being. Injuries will play a massive role in the coming weeks but look for the Bucs to keep four of the six options from above, and for the unit to be the best that it has been in years.