Bruce Arians is unquestionably looking for a running back to help take this offense to the next level. Could Ronald Jones be that guy? Possibly, as seen here. But it’s far from a certain thing.
Luckily for the Bucs, there is a proven, dynamic guy on the free agent market and he is sure to garner some attention. Of course, that is former Pittsburgh Steeler Le’Veon Bell.
Le’Veon Bell’s Career
Well, nothing has changed since the end of 2017. As all of you know, Bell had the well publicized year-long holdout to avoid signing a franchise tag. He wants big money - and to this point, he’s earned it.
Bell has 1,229 carries for 5,336 yards and 35 touchdowns. On the receiving end, Bell has 312 receptions for 2,660 yards and seven toucchdowns. He’s arguably the best dual threat at the running back in the NFL.
Or is he?
Why The Buccaneers Need Him
See, the thing about Bell is anyone that signs him is accepting a large risk. This is a guy that has been out of football for a full season and will command a large paycheck. The Bucs haven’t had a running back that could be this impactful or game changing since, well, maybe ever.
Bruce Arians is going to want to get a back in the offense that can do the kinds of things he did with David Johnson in Arizona. A powerful, speedy, dual-threat back that defenses have to account for on any play no matter the down and distance.
Not to mention, Jameis Winston performs best off the play action. With Bell, the threat of the run is always there and the opposing defenses will have to respect it.
Will It Happen?
This may actuallly be a little more likely than you believe. Yes, it would take some clever manuevering but the Bucs can make this happen and certainly will have some interest. If Bell shows interest in coming to Tampa Bay - remember, free agency is a two way street - then the Buccaneers have the flexibility to create the room to sign him. However, Bell’s asking price may be too high. That also means teams don’t have to bite and pay him what he’s asking thanks to his year long hiatus. Teams will want him to prove he’s in shape and ready to go. All I’m saying is, don’t be surprised if the Bucs get into the mix for Bell’s services.