The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed LeSean McCoy to a veteran minimum contract.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continued to add to their offense on Wednesday when they came to terms on a one-year contract with former Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy. Although this move is not as big a splash as some of the others during their offseason, McCoy can help to improve the production from the running back group in the 2020 NFL season.
A more interesting signing could have occurred if the team had somehow been able to convince Devonta Freeman to sign for a veteran minimum contract with the hopes of chasing a Super Bowl ring, but this was never likely going to happen. Although he is not the same player as he was at 22 not that he is 32, McCoy can still bring value to Tampa Bay.
Last season, McCoy had career lows with 101 carries for 465 yards on the ground and he added 28 receptions for 181 yards. He did average 4.6 yards per carry which would have been better than anyone who played the position for Tampa Bay last season.
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Although his career track record speaks for itself, it is doubtful the Buccaneers signed McCoy with the intention of him being their clear cut lead back all season.
LeSean McCoy provides the Tampa Bay Buccaneers great insurance.
McCoy fell out of favor in Kansas City last season and was even inactive for the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl. He had three fumbles during the season including two in critical games.
Despite this, he still adds a veteran presence to a very young Buccaneers running back group. The presumed top three running backs all have less than four years of experience in the league and none of them have yet to prove themselves.
McCoy can carve out a niche for himself in the passing game. Dare Ogunbowale was the team’s third-down back last season, and although capable, he did not provide big play ability and only registered 35 receptions. McCoy’s 28 was the lowest of his career but would have been easily been second on the team.
Ronald Jones is expected to start at running back, but he was not used a lot in the passing game due in part to struggles in pass protection. The team was hoping for rookie Ke’Shawn Vaughn to help in the passing game, but he was just placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. This is where the opening has been created for McCoy.
It is well known that Tom Brady has an affinity to using running backs in the passing game, and he also prefers veteran teammates who he feels understands nuances of the game and knows where to be when there’s trouble.
McCoy could fill this role for the Buccaneers at a bargain-basement price. He also provides insurance in case a player such as Jones or Vaughn is not ready to step into large roles this season. He may lack some of the quickness he had in his younger years, but he still could provide enough production to keep defenses honest and respecting the run game.
This might be all Brady and his talented weapons need. For a team with championship aspirations, this type of veteran insurance is not a bad way to spend your limited salary cap space.