Bucs Trade Rumors: Ex-Pro Bowler Sees TB ‘Inquiring’ About Breakout RB

Zack Moss, a happy Buccaneers trade candidate

Zack Moss, a happy Buccaneers trade candidate

The NFL trade deadline is looming in less than two weeks, and for a team like Tampa Bay, it will be a critical decision point. The team is good enough to win its division, but has obvious holes—i.e., the ground game—the team needs to address. Expect to hear the Bucs in trade rumors more and more in the coming days.

One feasible thought comes from a guy who knows a bit about running backs himself: Maurice Jones-Drew, a three-time Pro Bowl back for the Jaguars who now is an analyst for NFL.com.

Jones-Drew suggests the Bucs “inquire” about Indianapolis Colts running back Zack Moss, who played well to start the year in place of Jonathan Taylor, who was holding out for a new deal. But now, with Taylor back on a new, four-year, $42 million contract, Moss could be had on the trade market.

“With Moss headed for free agency after this season, trading him now could allow the Colts to recoup some draft capital to reinforce the roster in 2024,” MJD wrote. “I could also see the Bucs or Bears, who are thin in the backfield, inquiring about Moss.”

Zack Moss an Ideal Bucs Trade Rumor Subject

Moss has 466 yards rushing this season, and four touchdowns with another 110 yards receiving and a touchdown in the passing game. His 4.9 yards per carry are impressive, especially when compared with Tampa’s output, and makes him a prime candidate for a Bucs trade rumor.

As we know, Tampa is last in the NFL in yards per carry, at 3.0. The Bucs rank 29th in rushing yardage (394 through five games), and have just one rushing touchdown to their credit. Rachaad White is the primary back, and he has less than half the yardage of Moss—232 yards on 70 attempts this season, an average of 3.3 yards per carry.

White ranks 22nd in the NFL in carries, but just 32nd in yardage.

Coach Todd Bowles, obviously unwilling to engage in Bucs trade rumor chatter this week, said in a press conference the running game simply needs patience.

“It’s going to be a work in progress,” Bowles said via the Bucs’ transcript. “If we put too much emphasis on it, they’re going to take it away, and we [have] to throw it. So, it’s a lot of cat and mouse things. When you get behind, you have to throw it a little more. We weren’t behind as much, but we were in some tight ball games. It’s going to develop into what we think it will.”

Zack Moss Would Be Affordable

But a guy like Moss would be tempting, a good fit for a Bucs trade rumor. He is still on his rookie deal—just $1.2 million on the cap hit—and with the Colts likely rebuilding without quarterback Anthony Richardson on hand, the Bucs might be wise to deal away a pick to bring him in.

More from MJD on Moss: “His 93.2 rush yards per game across five games this season more than doubles his output in any of his first three pro seasons, and he’s already equaled his previous season high in scrimmage yards (576). Now, though, with Taylor healthy (and, having signed a three-year, $42 million extension, presumably happy), this is the perfect chance for general manager Chris Ballard to sell high on Moss.”

We know a team that would make for a pretty good buyer.

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