In the 2014 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Charles Sims out of West Virginia University. With this pick, the Buccaneers brought their total number of running backs to six.
A lot of people have voiced their thoughts, saying that the Sims’ pick was a confusing one. Many wondered why Tampa took another running back, after they already possessed three who proved themselves in the 2013 season.
This raises the question, is one of the running backs on the Bucs roster on his way out of Tampa?
Clearly Doug Martin is not who will be used as trade bait, so who could it be? Bobby Rainey or Mike James?
After Martin went down with a season-ending injury in 2013, both James and Rainey stepped up for the Bucs.
Rainey played in nine games and amassed 532 yards on 137 carries with five touchdowns. Rainey had a 80 yard touchdown run in 2013, a franchise record, and had three touchdowns on 163 rushing yards against the Atlanta Falcons. He was an impressive replacement for the injured Martin and helped the Bucs in their four wins.
James did not rack up as many rushing yards as Rainey did in 2013, but his 4.9 average yards per carry was higher than Rainey’s 3.8. James also had 43 receiving yards on ten catches where as Rainey only had 27 receiving yards on 11 catches.
Plus both players have only been with the Bucs for a short period of time. The Bucs drafted James in the 2013 NFL Draft, and Rainey was picked up off of waivers in 2013 after Martin was injured.
So which one could possibly be traded in 2014?
Newly drafted Sims is believed to be the one who will catch a majority of the passes out of the backfield. So that means James could see a significant drop in playing time. Plus due to the fact that Rainey out performed James in 2013, it could mean James is the odd man out.
However, James was drafted by the organization only a year ago, and Rainey was only picked up because Martin suffered an injury. Rainey also has a (slightly) higher trade value, which could help the Bucs land a better player.
If I had to pick one that would be traded, it would be James due to the fact that Rainey has been more productive while in Tampa. However, the Bucs really don’t need to get rid of either back but if they wanted to deal one of them to another team, it should be James.
I believe that the only reason the Bucs would need to trade either player is if a player goes down with injury and they need a replacement, or if another team becomes desperate due to injury and they offer a trade that the Bucs cannot pass up.
Barring those two situations, I don’t see either player being traded in 2014.