5 running backs Buccaneers could realistically target in free agency

Todd Bowles said he wants the Bucs to add a running back, and there are some interesting options out there.

Green Bay Packers v Carolina Panthers
Green Bay Packers v Carolina Panthers / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 5
Next

Ezekiel Elliott

After the Dallas Cowboys moved on from Ezekiel Elliott, the Bucs were consistently tossed out as a potential landing spot. It made sense on paper, as Zeke would have filled the Leonard Fournette role as a burly back who compliments Rachaad White's style and offers a dynamic to the backfield.

It would have also meant a reunion with running backs coach Skip Peete, who helped turn Elliott into part of the league's most productive duos with Tony Pollard -- who mimics White in a lot of ways.

The main problem with the plan was the Bucs' lack of cash to spend, something that won't be an issue this offseason.

Not only did the salary cap historically increase, but Tampa Bay already had over $30 million more in cap space than it had when this conversation came up last year. All of the reasons the pairing made sense a year ago still make sense now, if not more so. Zeke proved in New England that he can slide into a complementary role but still has enough in the tank to be productive.

Tampa Bay still needs to fix its run game, and everyone is hoping that the third time is the charm with Liam Coen. Despite being part of a pretty bad Patriots offense, Elliott managed nearly 1,000 total yards and five touchdowns. He wasn't the vulture everyone thought he might be, but that's more of a reflection on New England than it is Zeke.

While there will be more attention on him in free agency than last year, he's still a mid-tier option the Bucs could bring in at a reasonable price to help play Robin to White's Batman.

Market Value: $2.7M