Has the time of Ronald Jones come and gone in Tampa Bay? The Bucs seemed all-in on their third year back before the start of the season, but it looks like Leonard Fournette has supplanted the starter from his spot and could remain in Tampa Bay for the future.
If Fournette is going to be the starter from now on and LeSean McCoy is the best third-down back, Tampa Bay doesn’t need Jones on their roster. The Bucs have Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who could step in if required, but it seems clear that Jones won’t be a Buccaneer for long one way or another.
The Bucs could keep Fournette and McCoy for Brady and then draft a viable rookie, or they can just draft a rookie to replace Fournette, but either way, it is clear that the Bucs will move on soon. Jones still has a high upside, but the Bucs don’t appear keen on waiting to find it.
Jones may not have a massive market, but some teams in the league could give up a later pick to bring in a semi-consistent runner. Jones could come at a lower price than most free agents while also bringing a comparable production level.
This writer is still holding onto hope (and a jersey) that Jones will eventually emerge as a trustworthy starter. Nevertheless, if the Bucs don’t see this as a possibility, they need to trade before losing all bargaining power.