The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be looking to add another running back to the mix.
As reported by Greg Auman of The Athletic on Wednesday, May 11, the Buccaneers have reached out to free agent running back Ty’Son Williams. The 25-year-old Williams became a free agent when the Baltimore Ravens withdrew their tender for the running back.
“Bucs are one of a number of teams that have reached out to running back Ty’Son Williams, a free agent after Ravens withdrew their tender,” says Auman. “Averaged 5.3 yards per carry in limited work last season.”
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How Williams Fell out of Favor for Ravens
The former undrafted free agent actually entered the 2021 season as the Ravens’ starting running back. Williams emerged at the top of Baltimore’s depth following sudden season-ending injuries to both J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards prior to the start of the regular season.
Williams started the first three games and posted solid numbers, rushing for 164 yards on 27 carries (6.1 yards per carry). However, he quickly fell out of favor as the Ravens started to lean on free agent signees Latavius Murray and Devonta Freeman shortly thereafter.
In fact, after Williams was declared inactive in Week 4, he carried the ball just eight more times for the rest of the regular season. He was relegated to mainly special teams duties after Week 9, playing just four offensive snaps between Week 10 and the end of the season.
With the Ravens recently signing free agent back Mike Davis, Williams became expendable. Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic suggests that Baltimore gave up quickly on the young running back due to never being able to gain the confidence of the coaching staff.
“Ty’Son Williams started three games for the Ravens last year, finishing with 185 rushing yards and a TD on 35 carries; and 9 catches for 84 yards,” said Zrebiec. “He just never seemed to garner the confidence of coaching staff. Change of scenery probably will be beneficial for 25-year-old.”
How Williams Could Fit With Buccaneers
According to Pro Football Focus, Williams posted a 62.8 offensive grade last season. The numbers are actually not too far off in comparison to Tampa Bay’s backup running backs. Giovani Bernard posted a 65.1 offensive grade last season, while Ke’Shawn Vaughn posted a 65.2 offensive grade.
Outside of Bernard and Vaughn, Tampa Bay also returns starting back Leonard Fournette. In addition to the three veteran backs, the Buccaneers also selected Arizona State running back Rachaad White with a third-round draft pick.
In a scenario where Williams does sign with the Bucs, he’d be joining another crowded backfield. With that said, he could have an outside shot at a roster spot if he beats out Bernard, who mainly plays a pass-catching back role in Tampa Bay. And in an absolute worst-case scenario, the Buccaneers could always use Williams as an insurance policy on the practice squad.
We’ll see if talks advance between both sides, but it’s clear by the Buccaneers’ preliminary interest in Williams that they’re looking to add to their backfield.