Tampa Bay Buccaneers free agency 2020: Top 5 targets

Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images /
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(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Melvin Gordon

This one might surprise some, but signing a running back might be the right decision for this Bucs team. Especially if the Bucs go for someone like Teddy Bridgewater at QB, a really good running back is key in pulling players on the defense up to set up the deep ball.

Melvin Gordon likely cost himself some money this season, but he’s still going to get paid. He’s not going to get anything close to Ezekiel Elliott or Todd Gurley, but he could easily make himself a contract that puts him in the top 10 of ball carriers. We see Gordon coming in at around $8-9 million per season on a four- or five-year deal.

Gordon took some time to get going again after his holdout last season, but with a full offseason program we expect him to get back to his positive progression. After going under 2.5 yards per carry in the first three games back from his holdout, he had at least 3.9 yards per carry every game for the next seven weeks.

It’s still well below his 5.1 yards per carry from 2018, but it’s still respectable for a player that missed weeks of action. He also scored eight touchdowns in 12 games last year while getting back up to speed. The Bucs as a team had 15 rushing touchdowns, including one from Winston.

Pairing Gordon with Ronald Jones, who was finally getting going towards the end of last year, would give them a very good one-two punch and an offense to be reckoned with.