As the NFL trade deadline approaches quickly, the Buccaneers have become the center of a plethora of rumors. This is mostly due to the team’s rather dire needs in their defensive secondary. This was an aspect of the Bucs defense that was already weak at the start of the season, but a multitude of injuries in their secondary have only exacerbated their weaknesses.
As a result, the Buccaneers have been the target of countless trade rumors which have only heated up as the deadline has inched closer. As with any trade rumor, a highly speculated bargaining chip for the Bucs to play with was running back, Ronald Jones.
Throughout Bruce Arians’ tenure as head coach, Jones has seen himself go from the starting running back for the team and one of the best running backs in the league period, to a backup who gets minimal snaps per game.
For whatever reason Arians appears to simply prefer the team’s other running options, specifically Leonard Fournette. In Arians’ defense, Fournette has put together a great resume since the start of the 2021 campaign, however one still has to wonder why Jones wasn’t given at least a few more snaps to make a case for himself.
Regardless, the Bucs have what they need at the position and have no need to waste the talents of Jones sitting on their bench where he will have no impact on the team when they could move on to make room to evaluate Ke’Shawn Vaughn in a larger role. Vaughn still needs a shot to prove what he can do in year two, and if fans worry that Vaughn can’t replace RoJo’s current production, there are some major questions about the way this franchise evaluates college running back talent.
While all common sense would therefore point to the team trying to trade Jones before the deadline, Arians has said that he has no interest in trading Jones. Arians seems to reason that it’s a long season, especially with Covid-19 still looming, and you can never have enough talented players at any position.
Bucs fans will have to see if this gamble pays off for the team. As of now, it seems ridiculous to kill Vaughn’s value and Jones’ at the same time, especially when every aspect of the position is so replaceable in Tampa’s offense.