In the modern NFL, few things are proven as decisively as the fact that running backs don’t matter. Time and time again, teams around the league have made the mistake of paying big money for a running back, only to realize a few years later that their value decreases faster than a car after it leaves the lot. No disrespect to running backs, but it’s a position that is incredibly liable to suffer injuries, and unlike QBs, there is a surplus a running backs for teams like the Buccaneers to give a try.
These facts along with the emergence of Leonard Fournette as the clear starting running back of the Buccaneers makes one wonder why Ronald Jones hasn’t been traded yet. Some fans point to the one-two punch in the backfield, but that hasn’t existed this year.
At the beginning of the season, it was at least up in the air as to who would be the starting running back, and Bruce Arians seems to be especially partial to Fournette. The blocking and ability to hold onto the ball and a receiver and as a runner are huge to Arians. The Bucs have Fournette and Giovanni Bernard to take care of their running core, and holding onto Jones as a “what if” option wastes capital.
At the very least, one would think there would be rumors the Bucs are shopping Jones, given their dire need of help in the secondary. Jones is a talented back with an decent resume, so there should be a pretty solid market for him in the league. The Bucs would be unwise not to at least throw the idea of Jones out of there as trade material; he’s too good to simply sit on the Bucs bench. It’s an insult to both his talent and to the intelligence of the Bucs front office to not at least use him to better the team through a trade.
The Bucs obviously need to make improvements in their secondary so it’ll be up to the front office to show if they’re willing to take risks like trading Jones in order to attain the necessary players to win another Super Bowl, which should be the goal.