After a report surfaced on the 28th of May from Phila Inquirer Eagles reporter Jeff McLane stating that several teams, including the Buccaneers, were interested in Devonta Freeman. Tampa Bay made nothing of this report until Thursday afternoon.
Bruce Arians on Devonta Freeman
Steve Isbitts of Joe Bucs Fan asked about an interest in Freeman in which Arians had this to say, “if his price tag was reasonable. He’s asking for a lot of money and we don’t have a lot of money.” Greg Auman of the Athletic went to twitter when McLane originally reported Tampa’s interest in Freeman saying the Buccaneers had made no contract offers to Freeman.
The Buccaneers could have had an interest in Freeman as Auman pointed out in a tweet on Thursday stating, “what real interest they had in Freeman would have been before the draft.” Auman explained that after the Buccaneers had spent a third-round pick on running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn, that it wouldn’t make sense for the organization to deprecate him before he’s stepped on the field.
The interest in Freeman seems real as Arians has made clear. His asking price could see itself get smaller as the season gets closer. Arians also said he was comfortable with his depth at offensive linemen. This could make whatever talks of bringing in another veteran lineman somewhat obsolete. But never say never.
Freeman did take to Twitter and had this to say about Tampa’s interest;
I read in the media that Tampa Bay Buccaneers are interested. A number of teams are interested, but we can’t negotiate through the media, the Buccaneers can reach out to me directly ..
— Devonta Freeman (@devontafreeman) June 5, 2020
While the interest may be there, that’s all it is. Just an interest.
New Base Offense in Tampa Bay
Arians stated that Tampa Bay will use 12 man offense as their base offense. An additional running back could work in those 12 man combinations, especially a veteran back. The addition of tight end Rob Gronkowski plays to the strength of this offense, but Gronkowski can’t play every play. Freeman would bring veteran depth and some playoff experience to a very young running back room.
Tampa Bay has just over $5.1 million left in cap space, according to Spotrac.com. There’s still time for contract reconstructions that could free up some cap room. There could still be a chance for the Buccaneers to sign Freeman as the summer moves along. Freeman turned down a contract with the Seattle Seahawks in the $4 million range earlier this offseason. I do not see Freeman sitting out in 2020 especially with the possibility of playing with the likes of Tom Brady and an explosive offense. Then again, this has been an offseason to remember not only in Tampa Bay but all across the NFL.