The Hunt For The Elusive Running Back.
Aside from the many other needs, we certainly need on this football team, one position that many fans have been clamoring for since the Buccaneers season ended in December, is the running back.
Three names have been popping up this offseason and the first is Leonard Fournette of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fournette has had some issues with the team, but is under contract until 2021. So, unless the Jags and Fournette cannot come to a compromise, it’s likely that he will remain a Jaguar for the foreseeable future.
The next name that has been on the tip of virtually everyone’s tongue, is Le’Veon Bell. There is no doubt that there has been trouble in paradise when concerning Bell and the Steelers. Bell wants a long term contract, but the Steelers won’t commit other than to pay him a healthy one year salary of $15 million that comes along with a nifty franchise tag. Bell held out and is now seeking a long term deal from anyone anywhere. I believe Bell, who will be 27 in February, is a fine complement to any team in need of a successful running back, but can Tampa afford to pay him a long-term deal? Sure, I think it’s possible, and I would not mind it. Although, likely very expensive. and there had been rumors of Arians already having Bell on his mind. Unconfirmed, but fun to entertain.
Enter Kareem Hunt. A dream scenario. Yes, he has the hotel incident along with two others; A Night club incident back in January of 2017, in which Hunt was allegedly involved in an altercation which a person was repeatedly hit, breaking a rib and a nose. Hunt was allegedly accompanied by two other individuals, one who was said to be with a former Chiefs running back George Atkins. The third incident allegedly occurred at Bay Lodging Resort, where Hunt allegedly punched a man during an argument. To my knowledge, no charges were filed in any of these alleged altercations.
Hunt would be an asset for Tampa and could come cheap. But if Tampa were to throw their hat into the ring for Hunt, they would already have the understanding that Hunt may not play for up to SIX WEEKS, possibly more. Of course, the decision on how long of a suspension would be decided by Darth Goodell, and according to Ian Rapoport’s recent Tweet,
“Commissioner Roger Goodell says the Kareem Hunt investigation should conclude “soon” and that he’ll go back on the exempt list whenever he signed, as he awaits likely suspension. … on Reuben Foster, he said just because his charge was dropped doesn’t mean he won’t be suspended.”
Hunt is on the *NFL’s Reserve/Commissioner Exempt List and is likely to be suspended in the near future, however, Ian Rapoport, recently stated on the Ronnie and TKras Show on WDAE that,
“I would expect teams like the Bucs with big-time running back needs and the propensity to make a splash in free agency to be linked to him,” Rapoport said. “These decisions to bring a guy like Kareem Hunt in are made by the owner. That’s where it comes down to it, do the Glazers say: ‘We are okay having this guy in the building, given what he has basically been proven to have done.’” – Via Pewter Report.Com
*The Exempt List is a special player status available to clubs only in unusual circumstances. The List includes those players who have been declared by the Commissioner to be temporarily exempt from counting within the Active List limit. Only the Commissioner has the authority to place a player on the Exempt List; clubs have no such authority, and no exemption, regardless of circumstances, is automatic. The Commissioner also has the authority to determine in advance whether a player’s time on the Exempt List will be finite or will continue until the Commissioner deems the exemption should be lifted and the player returned to the Active List.