The Buccaneers are riding high at the moment. They have Tom Brady and his made-for-Florida weirdness, plenty of offseason buzz, and no pesky actual games to get in the way of the hype. That doesn’t mean they’re a finished product, though, because this veteran-focused team does not have a veteran running back they’re comfortable leaning on.
Enter...Devonta Freeman? Maybe?
Apparently, the Buccaneers do have genuine interest in adding the former Falcons back to their roster. That would give the Bucs a steady veteran in an otherwise green running back group and would provide Freeman with the opportunity to get his revenge on Atlanta twice a year for as long as his contract runs, which probably makes the addition appealing for both sides. The issue holding things up appears to be money.
UPDATE: Freeman took to Twitter to indicate that the Bucs haven’t directly reached out to him with an offer, which suggests that the team (and by extension Arians) are themselves going off the number Freeman was reported to have turned down from Seattle.
I read in the media that Tampa Bay Buccaneers are interested. A number of teams are interested, but we can’t negotiate through the media, the Buccaneers can reach out to me directly ..— Devonta Freeman (@devontafreeman) June 5, 2020
That’s not the first time that’s been an issue for Freeman this offseason, either. He’s received offers, appears to have rejected $4 million from the Seahawks, and per some reports would mull retirement or not playing this year if he doesn’t get a contract he likes. It appears he’s pretty dug in to that position—the Seahawks later signed Carlos Hyde and Arians says in the Pro Football Talk piece linked above that Freeman is asking for more than their offer—and thus it’s hard to know when and if he’ll play in the NFL in 2020. Fortunately, he appears to be in a good enough financial position to do that if he wishes to, and it’s hard to blame the man for not taking less than what he feels his value is if that’s the case.
The upshot here is that you don’t have to worry about seeing Freeman in Tampa Bay just yet, if indeed you were concerned about that. File that away for later in the summer if injuries hit the Buccaneers and/or Freeman gets a stronger itch to play despite the financials.