Why The Buccaneers Should Trade For Jonathan Taylor


Saturday night it was reported the Indianapolis Colts star running back Jonathan Taylor had officially requested a trade. The following comments made by Colts owner Jim Irsay regarding that state of running back value around the league. Perhaps not the smartest thing to say when your All Pro running back is entering the final year of his rookie contract.

And while Irsay has already come out and said that he has no intention of trading Taylor, that might not really be the case for a rebuilding team who clearly doesn’t want to invest money at this position. Now everyone is speculating potential trades. Naturally, this leads me to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

If Taylor can be had, would this make sense for the Bucs at the right price? My answer, absolutely yes! Here’s why I believe the Buccaneers should trade for Jonathan Taylor.

Offensive Transition 

We all know that Tom Brady is gone and he isn’t coming back out of retirement. The Bucs offense is in a state of transition. Moving from the air attack that featured the likes of Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown to a more conservative approach.

Part of this revolves around the coaching change. Head coach Todd Bowles is a defensive minded coach who wants to win games on his side of the ball. With that comes more commitment to the running game and controlling the clock.

As a testament to that, Bowles hired longtime Seattle Seahawks assistant Dave Canales to be his new offensive coordinator. Canales learned under head coach Pete Carroll for more than a decade. In that time, regardless of system, Carroll has always stressed a balanced offense and committing to the run.

Canales now brings with him the offensive system he learned under current Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, a disciple of the Sean McVay coaching tree. This system utilizes an outside zone blocking scheme and has shown the ability to maximize running back talent. I believe someone like Taylor with great speed, vision and balance would thrive in this new Buccaneer’ offense.

Adding Another Talented Playmaker

When it comes to playmakers, the Bucs have it better than most. With the likes of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage this makes for one of the best wide receiver groups in the NFL. Ideally this takes pressure off whoever the quarterback is this season.

A strong running game would also help with this. While I do think the Bucs rushing attack will be improved by the new offense and with Rachaad White replacing Leonard Fournette, to call this a strong running game might be a bit of a stretch. Taylor would change that.

There is no denying how talented Taylor is on the field. Leading the NFL in rushing yards and touchdowns as well as total yards from scrimmage in 2021, Taylor was second in offensive player of the year voting. His blend of strength and speed is rare and he has a natural feel for the game.

The potential combination of Taylor and White would make for one of the best duos in the NFL. Between them and what the team has at wide receiver then the Buccaneers offense has the potential to be one of best units in the league regardless of who’s under center.

Raising The Ceiling 

I believe that the Buccaneers should compete for a playoff spot, either as division champions or through the wildcard. They have one of the best defenses in the NFL and an offense that looks improved. After that, I can’t tell you that I have high hopes for a deep playoff run.

While the offense should be improved this year, I’m not convinced it will be a top tier offense. We saw the struggles of a worn down defense last year as they tried to carry an offense and it was disastrous. Really, the offense has to be near the top ten for me to really view the Bucs as contenders.

The addition of Taylor might push them up into that category. His break away speed and his physicality are something the Buccaneers are lacking right now. Between creating long touchdown runs and getting the tough yards near the endzone, it’s not crazy to think that Taylor could score 15 touchdowns in this offense. 

For comparison sake, Fournette had 6 total touchdowns last season. With potentially 9 more touchdowns, Taylor could add around 54 points worth of offense. All else equal, an additional 54 points worth of touchdowns over the course of the season would have brought the Bucs from 25th in scoring last year up to 15th.

This type of offensive increase could at least get the Bucs back in the conversation of a Super Bowl this year.


With Taylor open about his trade request and the Colts open about not paying him what he wants, the price tag for this deal might be lower than expected. Considering his looming contract situation, he very likely won’t come near the return that Christian McCaffery saw last year (which included a second and third round pick). 

Sending what it perceived to be a high third round pick along with some sweeteners might be enough to make this move happen. If that is a realistic price tag then I believe it’s worth paying for the Bucs. His value on the field, even if for a short time, can take this team to the next level.

Then there is the elephant in the room of an extension that you gave up draft capital for. Again, I would have little hesitation doing this. Even if the Bucs made him the highest paid running back in the NFL, they could make the deal a three year extension worth $50 million and keep him through the 2027 season.

This would be a lot to pay any running back considering the longevity of the position. However, you can afford these types of signings when you don’t have money tied up in a quarterback. And for a player that could potentially help take you back to the Super Bowl then I believe it’s worth the risk.

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