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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are losing one of their more notable players to a familiar AFC rival.
Jones had played a pivotal role in the Buccaneers’ rushing attack since he was selected with a second-round draft pick in 2018. The 24-year-old led the Buccaneers in rushing during the 2019 (724 yards) and 2020 seasons (978 yards).
However, the young back fell out of favor when he lost his starting job to free agent signee Leonard Fournette entering the postseason in 2020. Fournette emerged as the clear go-to option as he ran for 300 yards and three touchdowns during the team’s playoff run to the Super Bowl.
Jones continued to play a key role for Tampa Bay during the 2021 season, even starting three games while Fournette was sidelined, but it’s clear he had taken a backseat role to Fournette.
The Buccaneers re-signed Fournette to a three-year deal earlier this week. With Jones out of the mix, it appears they’ll lean on Ke’Shawn Vaughn to play a bigger role after he carried the ball 25 times in the final three weeks of the regular season.
Jones figures to play in a two-back committee with the Chiefs with Clyde Edwards-Helaire the only other running back on the roster. Kansas City’s other primary backs from last season — Darrel Williams and Jerick McKinnon — are currently free agents.