The Buccaneers are “a team to watch” if Duke Johnson does leave Cleveland according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.com.
The Bucs undoubtedly have one of if not the weakest running back corps in the league headed by last year’s second-round bust Ronald Jones, journeyman Peyton Barber, and former Cardinals third-down back Andre Ellington.
Whether the Bucs are forced to make a move depends on the progress of Jones, who had about as miserable rookie season as could be imagined.
The Bucs coaching staff has repeatedly talked up Jones during OTAs and minicamp but many observers aren’t buying it, including some beat writers who predict that Barber will still be the leader in carries and yards.
Arians has traditionally preferred a one-man backfield. Johnson wants to be a lead back but never got the chance in Cleveland.
While he is likely more talented than any of the backs on Tampa’s roster, it is not know if his body would hold up as a bell cow back.
Clearly the Browns would have to change their minds about honoring Duke’s trade request. Johnson to the Bucs almost makes too much sense for the trade to happen.