Buccaneers made mistake by passing on obvious trade

Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Why the Buccaneers kept Ronald Jones remains a mystery.

Perhaps not a complete victory lap, but the Buccaneers had every obvious reason to trade Ronald Jones before the deadline back in 2021. Some eagle-eyed viewers recognized this, and now the Bucs get nothing for their decision to keep a back that obviously didn’t fit the roster.

Does this really surprise anyone?

The Bucs, who are generally one of the more conservative teams in the league in the realm of in-season moves, held onto a piece long after the value reached the point of a limited return, and now they are in a worse situation because of it.

Tampa needed to trade Jones. He couldn’t block, he never got into a rhythm, and his lack of talent in the passing game so late into his career was inexcusable. The detractors argued two points in favor of keeping RoJo: depth in case of a Leonard Fournette injury and the likelihood that the comp pick for Jones would outweigh his trade compensation.

There is no comp pick currently on its way. Anyone remember Jones taking off when the whole running back room was basically injured?

No on both accounts? Strange.

For starters, no team wanted to sign Jones because he struggles to do the basic requirements for a modern NFL back. The pass will always matter more than the run, and not being able to block or catch is a death sentence. The Chiefs paying Jones so little that it doesn’t get the Bucs anything is hardly a surprise.

Now, onto the main event. The “added depth Jones brings.”

Where did it go? Why did the Bucs get more out of Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Le’Veon Bell than Jones after his years on the team? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to trade Jones sooner to give Vaughn more reps if Tampa wasn’t even willing to use Jones after the deadline?

After the deadline passed, Jones accounted for 234 yards on 57 carries for three touchdowns (4.1 yards per carry). Was it better in volume than Ke’Shawn Vaughn? Yes, but it’s not like the run was changing these games either way. Jones was exactly what those who called for him to be traded thought he was; replaceable.

Could Vaughn really not replicate 4.1 yards per carry and a couple open drops per game after going to the Bucs in the third round one year before this? If there are still questions about that, this front office has another thing coming.

Vaughn absolutely could produce mediocre running back stats, yet the Bucs chose to go with the safer option in Jones, and their run game never improved, they got no compensation back, and Ke’Shawn Vaughn is eight more games back in his development than he should be.

Does this still look like a good trade for the Bucs to pass on?

Trending. Buccaneers must change defensive values to win in 2022. light

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