With only Jacquizz Rodgers and Dalton Crossman under contract right now, the Buccaneers will be looking to add more talent to the running back position.
The Buccaneers certainly feel good about running back Peyton Barber, who rushed for 335 yards, 1 TD, and caught 14 passes for 83 yards and is an exclusive rights free agent, but are actively seeking an upgrade at running back. Barber will be offered a contract, but likely one that is of a one-year variety.
Charles Sims is a free agent and has done good things in Tampa, especially when receiving the ball out of the backfield, but I don’t expect Tampa to bring him back for another season unless they are really desperate and believe there’s nothing in the draft for them or in FA.
The Bucs recently released veteran running back Doug Martin and signed Dalton Crossman, who is a bit of a question, but certainly talented, in the hopes that he may become a standout running back. Martin had standout seasons, in which he broke records, and topped the league in rushing yards, but those types of seasons were few and far between. Injuries and P.E.D. suspension sealed his fate.
The free agency is full of running backs, none of which is truly standouts anymore, but Tampa is definitely on the prowl, so a move could be made the day free agency opens up. The Panthers recently released veteran running back Jonathan Stewart, so he could be a name to watch out for in the coming days.
With the draft right around the corner, I wouldn’t be shocked if Tampa waits until for their attempt to find another running back. Nick Chubb, who rushed for 4,769 yards and 44 TDs, or Sony Michel, who rushed for 3,613 yards and 33 TDs – while sharing rushes at the University of Georgia – comes to mind. Should be interesting these next few weeks as we watch the Buccaneers look to shore up the running back position.