Latavius Murray = Problem Solved?

February 24th, 2017

Simple fix?

Once upon last February, Joe screamed from rooftops for Jason Licht to slap the franchise tag on Doug Martin because he was injury-prone and inconsistent.

Make him prove it again, Joe belllowed. But no, the Bucs opted to drop a fat, two-year guaranteed contract on Martin.

Ok, it all sort of worked out in a twisted way. Because Martin was popped and suspended in December for using banned drugs, the remaining guaranteed money in his contract was voided.

So the Bucs are off the hook when it comes to Martin, and Joe believes they should part ways with him soon.

That written, the Bucs have a hole at running back and a pile of money to spend, which means they can buy a running back when the free agency dinner bell rings in 13 short days.

Oakland running back Latavius Murray is one guy nobody seems to be talking about in Largo or Lakeland or Trinity.

Is that because he has been off the radar in the AFC and in California?

Murray is a real-deal running back. Over the past two years, he’s been consistent, averaging 4.0 yards per carry each year (461 total carries).

The former Pro Bowler catches the football and last year he pounded in 12 touchdowns on the ground. That’s four more rushing TDs than the entire Bucs roster!

At 27 years old, Murray has fresh legs with just 543 career carries after being Oakland’s sixth-round pick in 2013 — another example of a stud running back at the end of the NFL Draft.

Murray landing in Tampa seems like the simple, safe pick to fill the Bucs’ serious hole at running back. Consider this “NextGen” stat data from Doug Martin was worst in the NFL running against a stacked box; Murray was ninth-best.

9) Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (4.27 yards per carry)

Oakland aimed to run the ball more this season and they accomplished that, jumping from 25th in 2015 to 15th in run play percentage this year. Still, it is rather surprising to see Latavius Murray check in with 43.2 percent of his non-red zone carries coming against eight-plus defenders in the box, given how impressive their passing attack was this season. Oakland ranked 10th in plays run with three wide receivers on the field, and ran out of that package on 46.7 percent of their rushing plays. Perhaps on the majority of his other runs out of heavier offensive fronts is where he saw the most stacked boxes, or maybe he really is a focus of opposing defensive coordinators. Either way, Murray’s 4.27 yards per carry against eight-plus defenders in the box was steady, and he only broke two runs of 15-plus yards.

Impressive consistency on display there.

If Murray can be had for, say, $7 million annually for the next two seasons, wouldn’t that be a good thing?

51 Responses to “Latavius Murray = Problem Solved?”

  1. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Samaje Perine (3rd or 4th Round)

  2. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    Could be smart, sign a RB then draft one, just like Licht’s buddy did in Tenn.

  3. Joeypoppems Says:

    He would be the only RB I would be ok with in FA. Would still prefer to draft a RB tho

  4. Miko Says:

    he’s still young …and productive. have to try and sign him…he’s the best option out there other than Peterson.

  5. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    NOSBOS got me on the cook bandwagon if possible to grab him but if you could get murray and have martin and rodgers and a stud #2 WR in the draft or a stud 1st round OL, that makes sense, bucs have some $$$ to spend

  6. SB Says:

    Sign him, Sign DJax, Sign Campbell. Now, the Draft just became a Whole lot easier.

  7. Waterboy Says:

    Perfect complimentary back to add to the backfield with Martin.
    He can carry the load for 8 games and once he goes down Martin can handle the other 8 games.

  8. LakeLandBuc Says:

    The Bucs actually saved a lot of money, by not tagging Doug Martin.

  9. Gobucs Says:

    I really like Murray. I knew it was a mistake to give Martin the big deal. I think Murray could be a good steady back but would still like to draft a play maker in the middle rounds of the draft

  10. stu Says:

    Does the LM signing include the Raiders’ OL from last season?

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Murray looks like a fine RB, but Bucs have bigger fish to fry in FA than picking up an RB at $7 mil per yr. Seems like just about everyone agrees that grabbing a #2 WR should be our top FA priority, then hopefully adding defense (DE/DT & S especially). Improving our OLine by signing a experienced C & RT would sure be nice, even if we re-sign Joe Hawley. Re-sign Jaquizz Rodgers and then draft a quality RB (maybe even 2) who we can keep him for 4 (maybe 5) yrs for relatively little $$$.

  12. Dewey Selmon Says:

    I’m onboard, does Oakland have cap room to keep him?

  13. DB55 Says:

    Murray is a real-deal running back.
    Fake news

  14. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I’m wit you Defense and I hope Iike h3ll that experienced C is Jason Kelce..

  15. NJBucsFan Says:

    Kelce is just a name. That and he was the 3rd or 4th option not to drop out is the only reason he mane the Probowl.

    I, unfortunately, have to watch a lot of Eagle games. He’s been thrown around like a rag doll for the past two years. He was undersized to begin with and now he is slowing down. The Eagles will cut him and rightfully so. No need to pick up another team’s trash.

  16. Joeypoppems Says:

    Jason Kelce isnt even a FA. He is a potential cap casualty. And seeing how Philly opted to keep Jason Peters they could be trying to keep their OL in tact for Wentz.

  17. DallasBuc Says:

    No thanks

  18. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    Hard no. If we can’t get salving cook and joe Mixon doesn’t check out, there are running backs to be had in later rounds like Joe Williams from Utah or Perine (no speed)

  19. SB Says:

    23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (27)
    Top overall grade: RG Ali Marpet, 84.5 (No. 14)

    Top pass-blocking grade: RG Ali Marpet, 84.1 (No. 23)

    Top run-blocking grade: RG Ali Marpet, 84.4 (No. 5)
    I know everyone is not a huge fan of PFF but it makes me a little nervous that our 2nd yr G from Div 3 is the best on our line at Everything.
    All of you that think the Run game is solved just by adding a better RB are a little bit misguided. No RB is any good without a Line

  20. DB55 Says:

    Preach SB. Prob why Murray is avg 4ypc.

  21. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Mike, I could get on board with Joe Williams, as long as he still loves the game. Big question given his history.

  22. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    Yeah, his mental health has to check out. Had some tragedy as a kid losing his sister and started to self medicate with pain killers to deal with the depression.

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I would be very happy with this signing, but it won’t happen. Oakland wants to resign him.

    If we got lucky and did sign him, it would eliminate a need in the draft (which I actually do not think we really need if we resign JQuiz). Sign him to a 3 year deal.

  24. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Mike Evans GOAT Says
    “Yeah, his mental health has to check out. Had some tragedy as a kid losing his sister and started to self medicate with pain killers to deal with the depression.”

    Did he medicate during his football career or when he was younger?

  25. macabee Says:

    Need big RB? Save the cap space, draft RB James Conner/Pitt 6-2, 240 in the 5th round. Conner scored 56 touchdowns in his time at Pitt, an ACC record, and ranks second in school history in total rushing yards behind only Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett. He was the ACC Player of the Year in 2014 when he ran for 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns. Received a clean bill of health today.

  26. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Ok so he averaged 4.3 a carry and got 12 TD’s. And having seen him play a time or 2, he is ridiculously athletic. How would getting him not be a great thing for our offense???

    Some of you guys are funny man.

  27. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    Both I think. He briefly retired last year and Utah convinced him to come back. Had like 1000 yards in 6 games and 10 tds

  28. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I’ve followed Murray a bit because physically he has insane AP type measurable’s and for years he’s been a fantasy breakout candidate.

    He’s never really lived up to being more than an average back imo. He ran behind one of the best lines in football last year (top 5 easily) and didn’t do anything on an elite level. An elite back would have had closer to 5+ YPC behind that line and many more big plays.

    Think of what Demarco Murray did with a great line in Dallas/ Tennessee. Hell Darren McFadden had a better year than Murray when he was running behind the Dallas line in 2015 (4.6 YPC vs 4.0).

    I prefer going after it in the draft. We can get someone with Murray’s ability for cheaper in rounds 3-6 imo; and with more upside as I see Murray’s 2016 season being about as good as it gets which is meh.

  29. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “Ok so he averaged 4.3 a carry and got 12 TD’s.”

    4.0 YPC. and 4.0 YPC the year before. Behind a better line that we have.

    Jaquis Rodgers averaged better.

  30. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Latavius Murray averaged 4.0 YPC last season for the Raiders 6th Ranked Rushing Attack. Jalen Richard averaged 5.9 YPC and DeAndre Washington averaged 5.4 YPC running behind the same line as Murray.
    Richard is a good back, but he never carried the load in one game, just a change of pace guy.–Joe

  31. Buc'n Since I Was 10 Says:

    Murray also went to UCF. Tampa is close so he might want to be near home.

  32. Buc1987 Says:

    A few of us were talking FA RB’s awhile back in here. I liked Murray because of his size and age. After reading the crap Joe posted above. I’m really hoping for Murray now. We’ll see.

    You’re right Joe. Nobody is talking about Murray.
    I’m glad we finally are. I actually think he’s a perfect fit for the Bucs.

    Then draft one say in the 3rd to develop. Getting what you want in the 1st and 2nd of course. DE, WR, TE, OL, or what have you.

    Murray it is!

  33. Buc1987 Says:

    LC…I’m not looking for a fantasy rb either.

    Oh hell Joe. How many more freaking days do we have to wait until FA?

  34. Buc17 Says:

    Barry Sanders great running back with no good o-line

  35. YeahISaidIt Says:

    nah im cool on this guy… def not a game changer and fumbles A LOT

  36. USFBUC Says:

    Umm this guy right here brought up Murray almost right after the season ended.

  37. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    He’s freaking 6-2 1/2 and 230 lbs and ran a 4.38 at his pro day!!!

    His stats are beyond impressive and he’s young enough to provide a few more years.

    Why is Oakland ready to cut him loose…they have a ton of talent that requires some big $$$ and they feel a rookie RB gives them better value…they’ve got their eyes like many of our posters on a 2nd or 3rd round RB to save money.

    Meanwhile Walter Football has moved Christian McCaffery back up from the 2nd to the 1st and have him going to….wait for it….the Buccaneers at 19!!!

    Their logic…The Buccaneers make a lot of sense, as they desperately need a running back, and their current regime loves players who are very passionate about football. McCaffrey, who figures to blow up the combine, fits that description.

    This would suit me just fine…especially if he rocks a solid 40 at the combine!!

    I’m with NOSBOS in lusting for Dalvin…I just don’t think he’ll get past Indy if he even gets that far and he might just be too expensive in terms of draft picks for us to move up that far. But I’m hoping NOSBOS is right and I’m wrong and we can both afford DC and get him…if not…McCaffery would be fine by me.

  38. Pickgrin Says:

    “he only broke two runs of 15-plus yards.”

    You lost my interest in Murray right there Joe – and that’s with a good Oline creating some holes to get to the 2nd level as well.

    Draft Kareem Hunt in the 3rd (or any one of the other solid RB prospects in rounds 2>4), re-sign Quizz, let Doug Martin compete in TC and preseason and see how it plays out.

  39. Mick Says:

    I’m on board with first comment. Perine in the 3rd round. Dude will be our boulder in the run game. We want to play smash mouth football? No getting cute with Perine — he will KNOCK OUT the smaller defenders of today. Think Alstott but feature back worthy.

  40. TampaBay AllDay Says:

    Oh so now its a good idea. Screw y’all lol

  41. unbelievable Says:

    Fix the line, fix the run game.

    Same as it ever was’d.

  42. Kevinthepainter Says:

    Sb is right the line must come first.

    And no on Murray . Im not a huge fan of the guy. I would rather loom at Isiah Crowell. Look at what he did in split time on a horribke offense.

  43. Trubucfan22 Says:

    27 yrs old and only has 1 thousand yard season? Uhhhh… why would anyone advocate handing him a huge bag of cash when the Joes were so adament about an aging RB only partially effective in Martin not deserving that money? Martin has had a much better career than Murray has had. And Martin was coming off of an all pro year. Murray didnt even crack 1000 yards last year. Im not impressed.

    This guy is in the same exact situation that martin was in last year. Joe didnt want to give martin a contract. But wants to give murray a big contract.

    We should draft a RB. They are everywhere and are a dime a dozen. Murray is not a special talent. He is good. No doubt about that. But not worth a ton of money. He did what quizz Rodgers did last season as far as YPC. 4.0 is not a great achievment. It is merely acceptable in todays NFL. im not sure where and what he was doing the first 2 years with the raiders but clearly he is not seen as anything special even in their eyes, if they let him walk in FA. This draft is deep with very good running backs. Just draft one and hope it works out. If not we should still have quizz and sims to meep things a float until we find the next option.

  44. Trubucfan22 Says:


    Why the hell should we pay this guy 7 mil a year? I thought we wanted WEAPONS for winston? This guy is more like a tackling dummy than a weapon.

  45. The bucfan 88 Says:

    I hear Washington looking at Brit I’m all in on Djaxs I going to be completely honest hear I would be shocked if he’s not wearing pewter next season

  46. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Joe bashed the bucs for not franchising martin. But the bucs knew exactly what they were doing. They signed martin to a deal that worked as intended. If martin did well, then he was worth the money. If he messed up, he would get nothing. Better than the franchise tag and saved the bucs a few million dollars too. This is why we leave the business side to jason licht and not opinionated members of the media.

  47. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Use Verners’ money on Gholston and Martins money on a FA #2 WR. Then draft a RB and WR in 2 of the first 3 rounds. If there is a DE they like in the first round to be Ayers replacement for 2018, take him.

  48. Etzel Says:

    Y’all are dumb. A superior athletic back who underperformed behind the best OL in the league? Draft 2nd/3rd round RB!

  49. Canadianbucsfan Says:

    I will keep banging the Isahia Crowell drum. He ran very well for a browns team that no one was scared of their passing attack. He is also younger. Then draft one aswell

  50. Fred E. Buc Says:

    I’m for keeping Martin around. The guilt factor should have him hungry. If he’s off the drugs, he’s a fantastic RB, and good in the locker room. But yest, I’m also for bringing in LM too, and keeping Quizz Rodgers. Barber as the fourth. That should do it.

  51. Capt.Tim Says:

    Martin is good in the Looker room?
    Lol- no, not even close
    Did you notice that no Bucs ran to his defense, when he got suspended?
    He is greatly disliked in the locker room.
    He has layed down and quit on his team and Teammates, 3 out of 5 years.
    While his teammates are playing their guts out, risking injury to win-
    Douggie was coasting. Thinking more about his favorite bar, than the Playoffs.
    You think the Team wants him back??
    Lol. I dont think so

    Murray is an upgrade