Several teams thought to have shown interest.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that teams were monitoring Jones’s situation in Tampa Bay, hoping he becomes available. Kansas City, Tennessee, Baltimore, San Francisco, and San Diego are all thought to be interested suitors. Jones had a breakout season in 2020 before a hand injury, and Covid-19 sidelined him at the end of last season. Jones watched as Leonard Fournette turned in some productive games in the playoffs, and the Super Bowl, earning him the nickname Playoff Lenny and Lombardi Lenny. This season started out with a fumble and other troubles in week #2, and Jones has been thirsty for the field ever since, with Fournette getting the bulk of the snaps.
Jones is a free agent next season.
The free agency next season is also thought to be a reason the Bucs might be willing to deal now — it’s better to get something for him than watch him walk next season and get nothing. My feelings on this are that he’s as good as emptied his locker, as he’s sure to jump ship for a team that will give him the rock and values the running game more than what the Bucs do. He’s already got a ring. I would think he would be looking to get somewhere and truly show what he can do in this league. He’s never going to get that in Tampa. When that happens, watch out, I expect really big things out of this young man. He’s the most underused talent the Bucs have on their roster, in my estimation. Fournette is a great fit in Tampa, but to me, there is no comparison. Jones is a major stud waiting to spread his wings. Time will tell folks. Don’t forget where you heard this prediction.
Arians not letting Jones get away so soon.
Arians was asked about the availability of Jones ahead of the trade deadline, which has since passed, and he had this to say:
“It would have to be something really, really special because I love the way he’s running,” Arians said. “It’s just one nick on Leonard, and then ‘RoJo’ is the guy again. To me, that’s still a great one-two punch. It would have to be something extraordinary.”
Clearly, the Buccaneers are not trying to shop him around, as the depth he offers may come into play at some point and become vital to our postseason aspirations. It will be sad for me to see him go next season (if that, in fact, is the case). He very well may become another Buccaneer to leave and find success elsewhere. He’s still a very young player with only one good season in Tampa so far. Last season he set a team record in average yards per carry (5.1 yds) and tied a league record for the second-longest touchdown run from scrimmage in NFL History (98 yds). He will surely be the youngest and most talented back available next season. Go Bucs!!