Chargers sign potential high-reward free agent target away from Buccaneers

If the Bucs wanted to make a move, maybe they already would have.
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

It's been a minute since we've heard much from the NFL rumor mill, but that streak ended on Wednesday night.

We didn't hear the Tampa Bay Buccaneers making a move, although one has to wonder if we should have.

The Los Angeles Chargers ended the free agency lull on Wednesday, making the move to sign JK Dobbins and add him to Greg Roman's offense. It's the second Baltimore Ravens running back Los Angeles has signed and potentially takes a target off the board for Tampa Bay.

Dobbins is coming off a gnarly string of bad injury luck which has hampered his development. It's almost hard to believe he's been in the NFL since 2020 and is entering his fifth season as a pro, but that's where the injuries come into play.

He's only played 23 regular season games over the last four years; a torn ACL wiped out his entire 2021 season while a knee injury ended his following season after seven weeks. Dobbins tore his achilles in Week 1 last season and all of that was too much for the Baltimore Ravens to handle.

Buccaneers miss out on potential high-reward free agent target

Despite those injuries, Dobbins is only 25 years old and potentially has a ton of tread left on his tires, which the Bucs might have been wise to kick this offseason. Head coach Todd Bowles said earlier this year that he'd like to see Tampa Bay add another running back to compliment Rachaad White and Dobbins could have been a high-reward lottery ticket to buy.

In the one healthy season he had, Dobbins rushed for over 800 yards and nine touchdowns in a backfield he shared with other players -- plus Lamar Jackson. In Tampa Bay he could have been a perfect back to help the Bucs in short yardage situations and would have offered a different dynamic to what White provides.

Of course, his injury history leaves a lot to be desired and begs the question of whether Tampa Bay is better off trying to find what Bowles seeks in the NFL Draft.

That being said, anything might help the Bucs pull themselves out of the deep pit the run game has fallen into. Tampa Bay ranked 31st in the league in yards per game, which was one spot up from being dead last in 2022. As good as White is he needs help, and Dobbins could have been a perfect compliment, who wouldn't have cost much and has the upside to be a top running back in the league.

Pairing that with White could have been dangerous.

We'll see how things play out in Los Angeles, which is a great fit for Dobbins as he reunites with Roman, and the Bucs seem to be focusing on the draft to add to the backfield.

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