Buccaneers might target a running back in free agency or draft

Todd Bowles is adding to his offseason wish list ahead of free agency opening.

Tennessee Titans v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tennessee Titans v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

We all know what the top priorities for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are this offseason, but there's more to tend to than just what's at the top of the list.

One of those items below the fold is figuring out how to improve key areas of the offense outside of quarterback and wide receiver. What needs to be done with Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans speaks for itself, but beyond that, the offensive line and running backs room need to get a serious look this offseason.

For the second straight year the run game was among the worst in the league, despite how much the Bucs tried to get it going. Rachaad White has established himself as a dual-threat weapon, drawing comparisons to Christian McCaffrey, but his productivity hit a wall when running the ball.

Part of that is on the offensive line, which needs to be improved, but it sounds like the team will be looking at running backs this offseason to try and give White some support.

Buccaneers might target a running back this offseason

Todd Bowles was asked about the Bucs offseason plans at the NFL Combine and mentioned that he'd like to see the Buccaneers add a running back to help take the load off White.

“I’d definitely like another back in here to take some of the weight off of him,” Bowles said. “You carry the ball that much injuries are bound to happen. We can take some of the load off of him.”

Earlier in the week Jason Licht mentioned Chase Edmonds among the names of players he'd throw a parade if the team was able to re-sign, so the solution here might be as easy as that. Tampa Bay has been linked to a number of different running backs over the last year, though, so it's possible that the team looks externally to add some depth.

Before we get too far down this rabbit hole, Bowles statement is not an indication that the Bucs will be pursuing Saquon Barkley or another top running back on the market. Instead, the most likely targets will be mid-tier backs like Cam Akers, Zack Moss, or Rashaad Penny rather than a Josh Jacobs or Derrick Henry.

Akers makes some sense as a potential option due to his prior relationship with new offensive coordinator Liam Coen. He's coming off another injury so he'd be a budget option for the Bucs but a player who has a lot of incentive to prove himself -- which fits the vibes.

The most likely outcome is that Edmonds comes back, but the question then becomes whether the Bucs like Sean Tucker as RB3 or if they'll look to free agency or the draft for that extra depth.

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