The Running Of The Bucs

Several veteran running backs may be available this spring as the Buccaneers look to upgrade their running game.

Speculation on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers off-season has centered on the running back position with two prominent backs leading the talk.

One possibility is New York Jets free agent running back LaMont Jordan who has been buried behind workhorse Curtis Martin in the Jets rotation. Jordan, 25, ran for a career-high 479 yards in 2004. The Bucs just hired former Jets offensive coordinator Paul Hackett as quarterbacks coach, so it would make for a familiar situation for Jordan.
Other talk surrounds disgruntled Buffalo Bills running back Travis Henry. He was the leading rusher in Buffalo for several years before the Bills selected Willis McGahee in the 2003 NFL draft. Henry immediately demanding the chance to start in Buffalo, but McGahee earned the starter's role in 2004, leading Henry to demand a trade.

Henry played his prep football at Frostproof High, about 90 minutes from Tampa. Henry would likely command a second-round pick in a trade while Martin would be a big hit against the Bucs salary cap, already well over the league maximum.

Tampa Bay will likely cut loose incumbents Mike Alstott and/or Michael Pittman due to salary cap issues. Alstott's playing time was reduced significantly towards the end of the season, while Pittman's problems with holding onto the football worry coach Jon Gruden.

The Bucs are not allowed to comment on either player publicly.

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