Which Buccaneers running back gets cut from the 53-man roster?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a major signing Wednesday night in the form of Leonard Fournette, but on the flip side, that also means one RB just lost their job.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported Wednesday evening that the Buccaneers had agreed to a deal with former Jacksonville Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette. The deal, a one-year agreement for $3.5 million, gives Tampa Bay yet another explosive option to put around QB Tom Brady as the franchise looks to make its way back to the postseason for the first time in 12 years and potentially even make a run at a Super Bowl.
That being said, the Buccaneers’ running back room is now rather crowded and that’s going to lead to at least one cut, maybe two before it’s all said and done.
Anyone that has kept up with Training Camp should have noticed that the running backs- overall as a unit- have not performed at an elite level. They’ve all seemingly improved and they’ve all had good days at times, but nothing has been consistent.
So, the question is pretty simple: Who gets the ax when it comes time to make decisions on the 53-man roster?
First, let’s take a look at who is now in the Buccaneers’ running back room:
The Buccaneers will likely cut two running backs before it’s all said and done
A typical NFL team only carries four running backs on the active roster and that’s likely to be the case with Tampa Bay this year, especially with the much-needed depth that could present itself at other positions.
So, what two running backs have to go?
Well, we can assume that Ronald Jones II and Leonard Fournette have already garnered two of the four spots. That leaves two more spots.
Dare Ogunbowale has been used primarily on third downs and was expected to be that ‘power back’ this season, but are his services really going to be needed in the same way now that Fournette is on the roster? After all, Fournette is already a hard-nosed running back who can pick up the hard yardage.
While this is just speculation at this point, it would seem to me that Ogunbowale will be one of the two cut.
Now, who survives between the three remaining running backs: Calias, Vaughn and McCoy.
Because LeSean McCoy is a veteran and he has taken the veteran minimum, I’d imagine he gets one of those two spots and the Bucs are forced to choose between one of their two rookies as to who they should cut.
If it comes down to that, you’ve got to think they’ll cut Calias- the later round pick who certainly hasn’t had a great camp- and hope the potential of Vaughn shows through as a fourth-stringer.
How does that leave the running back pecking order?
- Leonard Fournette
- Ronald Jones II
- LeSean McCoy
- Ke’Shawn Vaughn
While things are still subject to change as we head down the stretch, that’s the lineup we’re expecting heading into the 2020 season.