Are the Bucs Going After Devonta Freeman?

Tampa Bay could be sniffing around a former NFC South rival to add to their offensive backfield.

The Buccaneers spent the last six seasons trying to keep former Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman in check. 

Now, rumors are swirling that Tampa may want to add him to their stable of ball carriers by offering him a contract (via the Philadelphia Enquirer's Jeff McLane):

However, rumor is all the contract offer appears to be. According to the Athletic's Greg Auman, the Bucs have not made a contract offer to Freeman:

Freeman would be a tight squeeze in the Bucs backfield. Third-year RB Ronald Jones is likely to see an expanded role with Peyton Barber now in Washington. The Bucs also drafted Vanderbilt RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn in the third round of this year's draft.

The former Falcon likely would have filled the third-down back role current manned by Dare Ogunbowale. Over his career, Freeman has averaged 3.3 receptions and 26.2 yards per game, which is twice the catches and over five more yards than any running back on the Bucs roster.

Likely the biggest issue the Bucs would face in signing Freeman is his price tag. He has already expressed a willingness to sit out the 2020 season if he does not get the value he wants. Freeman turned down the same one-year, $4 million contract the Seahawks signed for Carlos Hyde per Pro Football Talk's Charean Williams.

The Bucs have just $4.8 million in available cap, so they simply don't have the capital to sign Freeman if he indeed is willing to hold out for more. While Freeman may simply be projecting a negotiating posture, it does appear unlikely he will be a Buccaneer in 2020.