Breaking: Buccaneers Are Closing In On Deal To Sign $18.9 Million Running Back

Breaking: Buccaneers Are Closing In On Deal To Sign $18.9 Million Running Back

General manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jason Licht hopes to strengthen the backfield, and Jonathan Brooks, a standout running back from Texas, would be a good fit.

At the annual NFL league meeting in Orlando on Tuesday, Licht told reporters, “We love Chase [Edmonds] and obviously Rachaad [White], but we’re looking for another running back to be in the competition there to carry some of the load.”

In 2023, Edmonds and White combined for just 1,169 running yards and six touchdowns. Although Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus believes that Brooks is the best running back in the draft, the Buccaneers may choose to select him after the first round.

Sikkema stated, “Brooks is the perfect combination of size, speed, strength, and agility.” Despite having a limited amount of snaps, he possesses excellent vision on zone and gap runs. He has all it takes to be an NFL starter running back if he can recover from his torn ACL.

After emerging from behind Bijan Robinson in the previous campaign, Brooks ran for 1,139 yards and ten touchdowns in 11 games in 2023. When he tore his ACL against TCU in November 2023, his season came to an end.

Jonathon Brooks Expects Full Recovery by Training Camp

Brooks anticipates being fully recovered in time for the NFL season. In an interview at the NFL Combine in February, he stated as much.

Brooks told reporters, “I’m just starting to get to running because I’m weeks into my recovery.” The training camp timeline is anticipated. The first day of training camp, July 1.

Prior to 2023, Brooks had barely made an impression on Robinson, logging just 340 yards and six touchdowns in 11 games. The Buccaneers, who passed on Robinson the previous season, have not been in the top half of the league in terms of ball movement since 2022.

After parting ways with Leonard Fournette following the 2021 season, Tampa Bay hasn’t found a feature back in White nor Edmunds. The Buccaneers also didn’t have depth last season as no other running back eclipsed 100 yards for the whole year.

Jonathon Brooks Compared to Former All-Pro Back

Lance Zierlein of likened Brooks to former Jamaal Charles, a running back for the Kansas City Chiefs. In 11 seasons, the former All-Pro and Pro Bowler amassed 7,563 yards and 44 touchdowns.

Although Brooks’ physique and running characteristics are similar to those of former Longhorn Jamaal Charles, some may find it lazy to draw that comparison. Given that Brooks is recovering from an ACL tear, his sparse collegiate carrying experience may serve as a mitigating factor, according to Zierlein.

“As he gains experience, he is likely to improve his feel for reading blocks and setting up defenders. He is agile and smooth working from cut to cut,” Zierlein continued. “Brooks is efficient when it comes to finishing runs, but he also has the wiggle and know-how to produce yardage in tight spaces or tight quarters.”

Last season, White and Edmonds combined for an average of 3.6 yards per run, so Tampa Bay was lacking that. At Texas, Brooks averaged 6.2 yards per carry during his undergraduate tenure.

“He has good burst but can be a little hesitant to punch the gas between the tackles until he sees clear points of entry, and he isn’t a physical run finisher,” Zierlein wrote. “Brooks is a runner on an upward trajectory. He’s a good pass catcher with three-down potential who should fit nicely as an early starter for zone-heavy teams.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *