Ravens predicted to land NFC running back in trade deadline swap

Ravens, Ronald Jones Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Ronald Jones Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens could look to bolster their backfield at the trade deadline, and one player they’ve been connected to on numerous occasions has been Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones.

The former second-round pick has seen his role diminish this season with the coaching staff clearly preferring the likes of Leonard Fournette and Giovani Bernard.

Jones has gone from the lead back in Tampa Bay to a rotational option, and a team like the Ravens that’s in need of running back help could come calling.

That’s at least what Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report predicted would happen. Moton predicted in a recent article that the Ravens would trade for Jones at the deadline to sure up their backfield.

Moton explained his prediction with the following reasoning.

"“The Ravens don’t seem to trust second-year running back Ty’Son Williams, who saw his role shrink after three consecutive starts between Weeks 1 and 3. Jones, who’s just 24 years old, could lead Baltimore’s ground attack and make a strong impression through the remainder of the term.”"

Ronald Jones makes sense as a trade target for the Ravens

A second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Jones didn’t find a role in Tampa Bay’s offense until his second season when he rushed for 724 yards and six touchdowns averaging 4.2 yards per carry.

However, his true breakout season was in 2020 when he emerged as his team’s lead running back falling just shy of 1,000 yards. Jones rushed for 978 yards and seven touchdowns on a highly efficient 5.1 yards per carry that ranked among the best in the NFL.

Most assumed that Jones would retain his prominent role in the offense in 2021, even with the offseason addition of Bernard. But that hasn’t been the case.

The Buccaneers coaching staff has soured on Jones, in part due to ball security issues. Jones has fumbled the ball a whopping seven times in his last 30 games.

But the Ravens do need running back help and Jones would undoubtedly provide them with their most dynamic, explosive option.

Veterans Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman, and Le’Veon Bell have all had their moments, but it’s clear that none of the three are fit for a featured role in the offense.

And as for Ty’Son Williams, he finds himself in a similar position to Jones, in the doghouse of John Harbaugh and the rest of the Ravens coaching staff.

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Ronald Jones is one of the more appealing running backs in a pretty robust trade market. The Ravens should consider giving the Buccaneers a call.