What an eventful last few weeks for this football team and their forever loyal fans. Could this be the year? Ok, I’ll stop with that for now and revisit it after the draft.
The front office has in my opinion done an excellent job so far in free agency with extending key contributors for this team. Our offensive line sounds like it could be a very nice commodity for any running back this upcoming season, rather than the anchor that’s holding it back. Marpet is back in his favorable spot and Ryan Jensen is ready to bring an edge to this line. With the offensive line expecting maybe an upgrade in the draft, it has become possibly a desirable line to run behind. However, it’s still underwear football season and being overly optimistic is part of the game.
The upcoming season is in Peyton Barber’s hands for now as the coach has even stated he is our starter as of now. Doug Martin is a Raider, as a few other former Bucs are as well and the Buccaneers aren’t heavily committed financially to anyone to pound the rock this coming season. Benny Cunningham was brought in for a workout, I see that more of a special teams tryout more than anything. To be honest, I am absolutely fine with Barber being named our starter for now. He’s not carrying a huge contract over his head, and for the purpose of planning a team financially, we couldn’t be in a better spot.
This draft class is loaded with potential, from the start of the first round, all the way thru to day three. While keeping Barber for 2018, he can look forward to a upgraded line to run behind and a healthy running back competition in camp as it is almost a guarantee the Bucs will address this need then. Still, Martin is no longer lingering around, Barber is healthy and competition is what these guys live for.
There are a ton of running backs available to sign before the draft, too many to list, but I’m going to throw out some names that I believe could still have an impact with the proper approach, which varies drastically based on who we bring in. AP for example, many say stay away from but for the right price and a limited role that would have to be accepted, his work ethic, knowledge and understanding could be very valuable to a new drafted rookie or even other younger backs. I don’t believe its a perfect fit, and the money seems to always be an issue with him, but for the right price he could have an upside not seen too much on the field. On the other end, there is Orleans Darkwa from the Giants, who is still unsigned, as well as Thomas Rawls in Seattle. Rawls battled injury and Darkwa battled a struggling offensive line, but both have shown upside that could blossom. I’m not saying back the Brinks truck up and hurry to get these guys, but they are options that are still available.
What do you think, are you happy with our running back situation, as April approaches? Let us know what you think and what scenarios you would love to see happen!