The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have some difficult decisions to make this offseason. With a huge void being created at the quarterback position with Tom Brady opting for retirement, it could put the team on a path of rebuilding.
Kyle Trask is the only quarterback under contract currently, which could be enough to do a tear-down and quick rebuild. More than $49 million over the salary cap, that could be the direction that the Buccaneers are forced to go in.
Alas, we have seen plenty of teams in bad salary cap situations kick the bucket down the line. Tampa Bay could opt to do that, restructuring contracts and attempting to improve the roster for the upcoming season. If that is what ownership and general manager Jason Licht decide to do, one player who could be an intriguing target for them is running back Tony Pollard.
Pollard had a breakout in 2022 with the Dallas Cowboys. He has been pushing for a larger role and last season he was given it and delivered. A fourth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Memphis product has developed into a true every-down back.
His role expanded every season and he produced more and more each time. Pollard set career-highs with 193 carries for 1,007 yards and nine touchdowns, proving he can handle an every down role when Ezekiel Elliott was sidelined. His pass-catching skills were on full display as well, as the former collegiate wide receiver finished the season with a career-high tying 39 receptions for a career-best 371 yards and three touchdowns.
The Buccaneers have Giovani Bernard hitting free agency and Leonard Fournette is expected to join him. That puts Rachaad White in a position for an expanded role, and he is confident he will win the starting job no matter who is brought in. Pairing him with Pollard would give Tampa Bay a strong running back duo to rely on going forward.
Last season, the Buccaneers ranked last in rushing attempts, rushing yardage, touchdowns and yards per carry. If they want any chance of finding success in 2023, they need those numbers to improve. A one-dimensional offense is a recipe for disaster.
However, the chances of the Buccaneers actually going after Pollard are slim. The Cowboys placed the franchise tag on him, which would cost Tampa Bay two first-round picks, along with a lucrative contract, to bring him in.