Buccaneers Not Actively Pursuing Running Back Trade: Source

Giovanni Bernard Buccaneers

Getty Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Giovanni Bernard.

The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers kicked off Week 2 of the 2022 NFL season in thrilling fashion, and as teams across the league prepare for their second game, many still have holes to plug, with plenty of veterans available to step in and contribute.

With that, Heavy’s football mailbag series continues on Friday, September 9 — hosted by Heavy’s NFL insider Matt Lombardo — to answer questions about your favorite team(s).

This week, the focus is on running backs who may or may not be on the market, an upstart NFC East team looking for cornerback help, and much more.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Could RB Giovani Bernard be on the trade block for the Buccaneers? He hardly played in the preseason and didn’t suit up for Week 1.

Giovani Bernard’s situation with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is a fascinating one.

Bernard is currently third on the Buccaneers’ depth chart, behind Leonard Fournette and Rachaad White. And, while Fournette looked explosive in Tampa’s Week 1 drubbing of the Dallas Cowboys, White only rushed for 14 yards on 6 carries, as Bernard sat as a healthy scratch.

On some level, it would make a lot of sense for the Buccaneers to shop Bernard, especially to teams aiming to add veteran running back depth. But, it doesn’t sound like that is going to happen anytime soon.

“That’s the first time I’ve heard that rumor, or anything about that,” a high-ranking Buccaneers official told Heavy.

Meanwhile, one agent who represents multiple running backs across the league told Heavy that he doubts there is a strong market for Bernard, who is 31 years old and is playing on a one-year contract worth $1.27 million.

If Bernard doesn’t climb Tampa’s depth chart, would appear on the surface that he may be someone more likely to be released, rather than a potential trade piece.

Cleveland Browns

What are the realistic chances of the Browns trading a running back in the next few weeks?

The Cleveland Browns‘ offense opened the 2022 campaign almost exactly where it left off last season.

After averaging 145.3 rushing yards per game, and averaging 5.1 yards per carry as a team in 2021, the Browns gashed the Carolina Panthers for 217 yards in the opener, an emphatic statement that this is once again one of the league’s premier offensive lines with a dominant backfield stable running behind it.

Nick Chubb led the way with 141 yards on 22 carries, while Kareem Hunt added 46 rushing yards, and a touchdown.

Despite signing a one-year contract worth $2.43 million back on June 4, D’Ernest Johnson was a healthy scratch, leading some to speculate the Browns could be shopping him.

However, multiple sources told Heavy that not only are the Browns not looking to trade Johnson, but Cleveland isn’t actively making calls on any of its running backs, either.

It would make sense, especially as Cleveland navigates the next 10 games with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, until Deshaun Watson is eligible to return from suspension, to lean heavily on the running game and its prolific collection of backs.

Things can always change in an instant, but there’s no indication any trade involving Hunt, Chubb, or Johnson is even being considered, at this point.

New York Giants

With Aaron Robinson (appendicitis) out for Week 2 and potentially several more weeks as he recovers, are there any free agent cornerbacks out there who could help the Giants’ depth for the next few weeks?

Losing Robinson, who held Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a meager 72.9 passer rating when targeting him in the New York Giants‘ victory, is a significant blow to a secondary that is relatively thin at cornerback.

Multiple league sources suggest Rashard Robinson and Jamal Perry could be ideal scheme fits for Don “Wink” Martindale’s defense, albeit both are coming off some form of injury.

Perry’s cover skills could make him plug-and-play option to replace Robinson’s role in the Giants’ secondary. After tearing his ACL last season with the Dolphins, Perry is now free to sign with any team.

Through the first 31 games of his career, the 27-year-old Perry has produced 86 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss, intercepted 1 pass and broken up 7 passes. His ball skills at 5-foot-10 and 182 pounds make him the kind of player Martindale can move around in the Giants’ scheme.

Meanwhile, Robinson, 27, was released with an injury settlement from the Buccaneers and is free to sign with any team, after suffering an undisclosed injury this summer. In 2021, Robinson appeared in seven games for Tampa Bay, producing 4 total tackles.

New York Jets

What are you hearing about the Jets in connection to a PFF report that the team is “looking for more help at offensive tackle”? Are there any available names that make sense?

Multiple league sources tell Heavy, as Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed reported on September 13, that the New York Jets are still actively shopping for a veteran offensive tackle, even after signing Duane Brown in August.

However, don’t expect the Jets to be in the market for the players at the top of the tackle market, after signing Brown to a two-year deal worth $22 million, which counts $3.69 million against the cap this season.

Mike Remmers and Bobby Massie are two names to keep a close eye on, as each are ideal fits for the Jets and could easily slide into a swing-tackle role in New York.

Remmers, 33, would add veteran stability as Brown continues to work his way back from a shoulder injury. In 2021, Remmers allowed just 1.0 sack and 5 total quarterback pressures, in 156 snaps for the Kansas City Chiefs.

However, Remmers is probably a couple of weeks away from being fully medically cleared to return to the field. There have been multiple teams showing interest in Remmers, according to a league source. The Jets could be a perfect fit.

Meanwhile, Massie has drawn interest from multiple teams, according to a league source familiar with the veteran’s situation. Massie is another lineman garnering significant interest, so the Jets may need to strike quickly for the 33-year-old former Denver Bronco.

In 2021, Massie produced a 70 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, while allowing 5.0 sacks in 796 offensive snaps. In Massie, the Jets would be adding a player capable of starting and making an immediate impact.

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