The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had one of the most confusing seasons in recent memory last year. On paper, they had the talent to be better than what they were.
Mike Evans, Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David, Desean Jackson, Jason Pierre-Paul, OJ Howard, and Jameis Winston theoretically should’ve been able to win more than five games. But the team was in no man’s land, swapping between starting quarterbacks Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick every few games.
The team needed a clear direction this offseason: go for it with the core you have or tear it down for a rebuild. They opted for the former and were able to convince Bruce Arians to come out of retirement.
Arians was intrigued by the potential to work with Winston and the weapons they have around him. That being said, it’s not a stretch to say they have one of the worst running back depth charts in the league.
Many thought Ronald Jones would be the solution to this problem, but he has disappointed thus far. Although, he has reportedly come back this year in much better shape and the team is hoping for a better sophomore season for the former USC standout.
Arians has said that Peyton Barber is the type of back you build around. With all due respect he is a solid veteran but hardly seems like he should be the unquestioned lead back there. Regardless of his opinion on Barber and Jones, this position group is the clear weak link on their offense.
All of that would lead us to believe that a deal for Gordon would make a lot of sense for the Buccaneers, who have the misfortune of also playing in an extremely tough division. Even with the hiring of Arians, they are still clearly the worst team in the division.
The New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, and Carolina Panthers are all likely to be in the playoff hunt. Not to mention they also have one of the toughest opening schedules in the league, including road games against the Panthers, Saints, Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks, plus a trip to London in Week 6. Trading for Gordon would be the swing for the fences move that this team needs to stay afloat in the NFC South.
With their personnel, it’s tough to pinpoint a good player swap that would suit the Chargers’ needs. Chris Godwin is very intriguing and would be a clear upgrade as the third option at receiver, but the Buccaneers would be unlikely to include him.
There isn’t a young offensive lineman who would be enough of an upgrade for the Chargers. So unless they are really intrigued by Jones, or were able convince them to part with one of their veteran offensive tackles, this hypothetical trade package would revolve around future draft picks.
The Chargers should ask for two first-round picks, but perhaps an offer such as: Gordon for the Buccaneers’ 2020 first-round pick, 2021 third-round and 2023 sixth-round pick would be more realistic.
If they prefer to go for the draft compensation route this would be a decent return for the star running back.