Quick Fix (Again) With Latavius Murray

February 23rd, 2018

Last March, Joe was trumpeting the Buccaneers’ opportunity to sign free agent running back Latavius Murray and to dump Doug Martin.

The Bucs passed.

Martin was awful, and he missed a game for violating a team rule. No surprise to anyone paying attention. Murray, however, played in every game for a 13-3 football team, racking up 842 yards on 216 carries with eight touchdowns.

You know who he performed like? The same Latavius Murray who turned in solid seasons with the Raiders before jumping to free agency in 2017.

Murray turned 28 last month and it seems the Vikings might be looking to move on. It’s not because Murray is bad; it’s because Minnesota is fired up for Dalvin Cook’s return, and they love what they have in 25-year-old emerging Jerick McKinnon. He had a solid season that was similar to Murray’s effectiveness, and his versatility shined in the playoffs.

Murray has two years remaining on his contract averaging a little over $5 million per season.

There’s been a load of speculation on SiriusXM NFL Radio this week that Minnesota might make him a salary cap casualty before his contract is guaranteed on March 18.

A Florida guy who went to the University of Central Florida, Murray is the kind of back who represents a major step toward fixing the Bucs running game, but he’s not electric or a long term answer. But Joe will take immediate improvement in a heartbeat.

Carlos Hyde, Murray, whoever. Adding a durable, productive back to team with Peyton Barber and a speedy rookie drafted outside the first round would be one heck of an upgrade worth pursuing.

65 Responses to “Quick Fix (Again) With Latavius Murray”

  1. Lamarcus Says:

    It’ll be nice to Mckinnon in a Bucs jersey doing that excellent dirty bird dance he does in Falcons stadium

  2. Jooehelldeloxley Says:

    I think we can recruit Hyde, Murray and/or Hill.
    As you say Joe not future hall of famer (perhaps Hyde) but very efficient players with apparently real team spirit !
    So yes huge improvment, sign them !

  3. BucEmUp Says:

    Trade Detroit a 7th rounder for Zach Zenner give him 23 carries a game and watch the magic. Detroit is too dumb to see the hidden gem they have in that guy. If they did that I would be the first to buy his jersey

  4. DanBucsFan Says:

    Amen Joe !!!!!

  5. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I assume he scored on short yardage downs mostly?

    I like his stats, and he probably has 2-4 good years left in the tank.

    I would rather have Blount and Hyde though.

  6. miken Says:

    Latavius is not very good. Go with someone else.

  7. mike10 Says:

    A couple things to comment on here, Joe:

    1. All signs have pointed to McKinnon being the one who hits the Free Agent Market, and not Murray. If I’m Minnesota, I want Cook and a proven veteran like Murray.

    2. If you want durable, Carlos Hyde is not your guy. I know, I’ve had him in fantasy for 2 years.

  8. Mike Johnson Says:

    to be honest..I’m sick of Buc teams tryin to highlight Fl guys..Fl ball players. I know they are a draw. But The bucs need Beef. Where’s the beef? Give me some hard hittin corn fed boyz!

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    miken, I’m not too familiar with him, but he had 8 TDs last year in a limited role, and 12 the year before. And he’s remained healthy.

    He has a low YPC, so that’s why I assumed he was in short yardage situations most of the time.

    We do need a guy like that…but I prefer Blount. He’s good luck.

  10. Nick2 Says:

    Totally agree Joe, defensive end is a need for sure but without a running game Winston will continue to struggle. Back (and it was a while back) when we had a good running game Winston rookie year he was looked upon favorably. But now mysteriously because he has to carry it all on his shoulders lots of people are down on him. If we can just run the damn ball Winston will use the play action to perfection. If he and Deshawn Jackson work extra hard on timing I am convinced with a good running game we will be back in the hunt for sure!

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Mike Johnson Says:
    “The bucs need Beef. Where’s the beef? Give me some hard hittin corn fed boyz!”

    I long for the Mike Alstott days! I remember defensive linemen saying they hated defending against him because of hos hard he hit.

  12. 813bucboi Says:

    runs a little too upright for my liking….as big as he is you would think he would be tougher/harder to tackle….doesn’t run angry enough for me….if we good RB in FA, id rather have carlos hyde…..

    with that said, draft Michel and scarbrough to go along with barber…..

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!…..GO BUCS!!!!

  13. SOEbuc Says:

    I’ve wanted McKinnon this offseason and thought the Vikings might let him go before Murray. One of them is leaving cus they aren’t going to pay either of them what they deserve for #3 RB. I’m down for which ever one they let go before Carlos Hyde. He’s not worth the money he will want and these two would be.

  14. Waterboy Says:

    Carlos Hyde

  15. SOEbuc Says:

    And I was saying yesterday that McKinnon is boss on the check downs with great hands. Would be really nice for all our good receivers strethcing the field and Jameis’ PA.

  16. Bnomo Says:

    U still need that o line to open holes.I

  17. LakeLand Says:

    Tampa Bay moved up from 112 to 100 to draft Akeem Spence in the 2013 draft. They gave the Raiders pick 112 and 181. The Raiders drafted Latavius Murray with pick 181. Akeem Spence is long gone, suiting for the Detroit Lions.

  18. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Peyton Barber is better than Latavius Murray.

    They had the exact same YPC average in 2017; despite Murray having a much better run-blocking line per any grade you can find online regarding the Vikings vs the Bucs.

    Murray probably barely cracks 3 YPC if he was running behind our line. He adds no element to our rush attack that Peyton doesn’t do better already. He’s more of a 2 down back while Barber can play on all downs.

    No thank you.

  19. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    DeMarco Murray > Latavius Murray

  20. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Before DeMarco Murray got banged-Up (2017 Season)

    DeMarco Murray vs. Seattle | Seahawks vs. Titans | Wk 3

  21. tnew Says:

    Jerick McKinnon has stated personally, not thru his agent, that he wants an opportunity to be “the guy” (his words).

    “I want to be the guy,” he said, per Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com. “I don’t put in all the work in the offseason to come back and be in this role. I appreciate the role. It worked out well, but I want bigger and better things for myself.”

    He is an UFA when free agency begins. The chances of Minnesota resigning him with Dalvin Cook (who is the guy) aren’t that great unless he finds no suiters in free agency. Minnesota won’t release Murray until McKinnon is resigned. McKinnon will test free agency unless Minnesota drastically overpays (a back up running back). McKinnon is ripe to be a FA bargain with a lucrative but incentive laden contract.

  22. tnew Says:

    And, like Joe said he’s 25 with a low odometer.

    I know I’ve put this on here before, but go back and look at his combine and project where he might go this draft now that backs are beginning to see their value rise.


    Top performer in EVERY combine category. Better receiver than Sims (go watch his game tape). Finishes his runs. Started playing RB late into his college career, but still had to split time at QB. This young man is set to explode.

  23. I Bleed Pewter and Red Says:

    another fine FA addition …I’m with that too!

  24. Bird Says:

    Ucf baby !

  25. Not there yet Says:

    28? Meh they need juice, they need fresh young legs and a Charles sims replacement

  26. Lord Cornelius Says:


    Honestly I think Barber looks like a hungrier better version of Murray right now when I watched your video and then watched Barber vs the Packers. Small sample but just what it felt like when watching.

    Murray had a good day but he had a 75 Yard TD propping up his numbers where he just had to follow his blockers basically and wasn’t touched on the play.

    I like the idea of Barber + Ronald Jones II or Sony Michel more than any FA really other than McKinnon who would be a great complimentary back and upgrade over Sims

    Here’s Barber vs the Packers. Consistently falling forward for extra yardage. Consistently breaking tackles / making people miss. Catches the ball smoothly as well. Maybe we’re underrating this guy?


  27. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Tnew and Lord C

    Thanks for that analysis and facts. I can’t believe how much I learn coming here.

    Both from the Joe’s and the posters. I think the Joe’s have attracted a really interesting set of posters.

  28. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Isn’t Charles Sims basically a poor-man’s McKinnon?

  29. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Rushing Yards & Rushing + Touch Downs (2010-2017)
    1st. DeMarco Murray | Yds:7,174 | TD’s 49 <-
    2nd. LeGarrette Blount | 5,888 | TD’s: 51
    3rd. Ryan Mathews | Yds: 5,261 | TD’s: 37
    4th. Mark Ingram | Yds:5,362 | TD’s: 44
    5th. Chris Ivory | Yds: 4,852 | TD’s:28
    6th. Jacquizz Rodgers | Yds: 1,961 | TD’s: 8 <-

    Receptions & Receiving Yards + Touch Downs (2010-2017)
    1st. DeMarco Murray | Rec: 307 | Yds: 2165 | TD’s: 6 <-
    2nd. Mark Ingram | Rec: 207 | Yds: 1428 | TD’s: 4
    3rd. Ryan Mathews | Rec: 179 | Yds: 1371 | TD’s: 3
    4th. Jacquizz Rodgers | Rec: 178 | Yds: 1286 | TD’s: 5 <-
    5th. Chris Ivory | Rec: 94 | Yds: 743 | TD’s: 3
    6th. LeGarrette Blount | Rec: 54 | Yds: 386 | TD’s: 2

  30. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Rushing Yards & Rushing Touch Downs (2010-2017)

  31. Joe Says:

    Isn’t Charles Sims basically a poor-man’s McKinnon?

    Don’t tell that to Ira.

  32. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    No Doubt Barber has value – We just need to improve our STABLE of running backs w/a couple of downfield runners. That can also provide additional value as a receivers out the backfield.

    2018 Potential Running Back Depth Chart
    RB Peyton Barber | Kalen Ballage
    RB Demarco Murray | Isaiah Crowell

  33. LakeLand Says:

    Isaiah Crowell | 2014-2017

    Rushing | 3118 | 4.2 Y/A | 21 TDS

    Receiving | 96 Rec | 770 Yards

    25 years old | Jan 1993

    Started 45 games

  34. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    That can also provide additional value as receivers out the backfield.

    Dual Threats!

  35. LakeLand Says:


    I agree

  36. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    No doubt brotha

  37. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    In A League w/Piss Poor Tackling An Run Stopping Defenses

    Runnning RPO’s.
    Give me a STABLE of brusing running, that can catch.
    And I’ll Wear U Out for 4qrts.

  38. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Give me a STABLE of brusing running backs, that can catch

  39. Tnew Says:

    I’ll tell Ira Sims is a very poor man‘s Mckinnon. Unless Sims is nursing some kind of injury that I’m unaware of. Sims is on his way out of football unless he changes something very fast. McKinnon is emerging. Their career paths couldn’t be more divergent. When Sims had the opportunity to step in and produce he has fallen flat. McKinnon has produced in any role he has been asked to perform. Now he wants the responsibility to be the guy.

  40. Lord Cornelius Says:


    We for sure need depth. Some later round guys are starting to grow on me – primarily Heims from NC State and the Miami RB as guys that look like they’d compliment a Barber well

  41. WutdaBucisthis Says:

    Yea…McKinnon gets my vote. Let Sims walk

  42. Rod Munch Says:

    Ugh… no… I’d literally rather let Barber have his chance over going with a retread like Murray. I mean if he’s really cheap and you need a vet, I guess he’s OK, but he’d be wayyyyyy down the list.

    WutdaBucisthis – My buddy that follows the Vikings closely and knows some people with front office says McKinnon wants to be an every down back and wants huge money and it’s almost certain he’s going to the Giants. He also says while he likes McKinnon he’s an awful every down back and he, not me, compared him to Sims and said he’s basically the same player, a 3rd down guy who can catch the ball, run once in a while, but if you try to start him he’ll collapse. Sims is very very good at his job AND he should be fairly cheap. He’s a pure 3rd down guy, and that’s OK, it really is OK to have guys that all bring different skills to the table.

  43. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Joe Says:
    February 23rd, 2018 at 3:21 pm
    Isn’t Charles Sims basically a poor-man’s McKinnon?

    Don’t tell that to Ira.

    I mean I don’t hate Charles Sims, I actually think he has a good role on the team, albeit he is a one-trick pony. I just really don’t think McKinnon brings much more than what Sims already brings. Aside from being able to actually run in a straight line.

  44. LakeLand Says:

    I use to think that Jerick McKinnon were only a undersized option QB. I use to watch him play in high school, when he was at Sprayberry. Georgia Southern did a good job of converting him to RB. He look more like Darren Sproles than Charles Sims.

  45. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Big fan of Nyheim Hines, Lavon Colmeman & Ralph Webb.

  46. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    At this point – Sims provides nothing as runner between the tackles.

    Sad, because he had tons of potential coming out of collge.
    Now he plays like – Kregg “Shook One” Lumpkin.

    So Nah….Pass.

  47. Tony from Los Angeles Says:

    The Bucs can find a better and younger RB for much less than 5 million per. Save the big money and resources for the main areas of need…

    Fix the trenches, fix the Bucs!!

  48. MadMax Says:

    Yeah, go after Mckinnon instead….and btw he set the record for benches by rb’s in the combine (did 34 @225 but they didnt count two so its officially 32). I know that doesnt mean much to some but thats FN strong for a guy his size…..thats stiff arm power!!

  49. MadMax Says:

    Sup LUV?! Ready for the combine? I think Big V is going to blow up….will probably be top 10 by most afterwards.

  50. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    A half dozen of these guys would do the trick. Give us a back with NFL cred and some depth in our backfield.

    I’m not sure Payton doesn’t rush for close to 1,000 but I think another back might rush for 600 or more as well. No single star but two very good backs who get it done by committee.

    Remember Earnest Graham. He was typecast as a blocking back and not a running back. Despite excellent yard per carry stats the Bucs never really gave the ball to Earnest his first three years. In his 4th year the Bucs tried Earnest as a runner and he did not disappoint. Back to back seasons of toting the rock well for us. I think this could be the year it all comes together for Barber.

  51. Joeypoppems Says:

    I wasnt a fan of the idea of signing Murray last season, and Im still not. McKinnon would be a better pick up imo. I like the idea of Crowell too. My top 5 FA RBs for the Bucs to target would be:

    1) Carlos Hyde
    2) Isaiah Crowell
    3) Jerrick McKinnon
    4) Dion Lewis
    5) LeVeon Bell

  52. Joeypoppems Says:

    I also wonder how cheap they could get Jeremy Hill. Wouldnt hate that move.

  53. JimmyJack Says:

    I’m agreeing with Rod Munch here. I’ve seen McKinnon show a lot of great flash at times but I’ve also seen them try to hand him the ball from a lead back role and he was very underwhelming.

    I think he could work out in the righ5 situation but everything we have seen from Dirk says that he wants a bell cow runner and McKinnon isn’t that guy IMO.

    Honestly, I think Dirk would be better off doing different things with his backs. Maybe he considers mixing things up but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  54. Destinjohnny Says:

    Nick Chubb or Sony at 2
    Bo Scarborough at 5
    Running back problem solved

  55. Reach87 Says:

    Destin, like your first options. If we get either I would pass on Bo and go defense: chubb or the guard from notre dame with the first pick; michel with the second pick; the dt from Stanford for the 3rd pick; then BPA for the rest of the way.

  56. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Whats good Brotha?
    No doubt “V”‘s stock will rise.

    Since we on the subject: What U think about the following later round nose tackles.

    • B.J. Hill, N.C. State
    • Trenton Thompson, Georgia
    • Kendrick Norton, Miami

  57. DoNUTS Says:

    Murray has bad ankles/feet…pass

    Oct 2, 2016 NFL Pedal Toe Turf Toe Murray missed 2 games.
    Nov 8, 2015 NFL Head Cranial Concussion Grade 1 Murray was knocked unconscious and had to leave his Week 9 game. He was able to play the following week.
    Nov 20, 2014 NFL Head Cranial Concussion Grade 1 Murray had to leave the field after taking a hit in a Week 12 game against the Chiefs. He sat out the following week.
    Aug 9, 2013 NFL Pedal Ankle Sprain Grade 2 Murray rarely practiced in training camp and eventually landed on IR. He underwent a scope in August.
    Jun 12, 2013 NFL Pedal Foot Sprain Murray missed all of minicamp with a foot injury.
    Aug 30, 2012 Non-NFL Shoulder Murray hurt his shoulder in the opening game of his senior year. He missed 3 games.
    May 1, 2009 Non-NFL Knee ACL Tear Grade 3 Murray tore his right ACL in a pickup basketball game.

  58. TSyce Says:

    LAMARCUS: In regards to the comment u sent at me about jw3 being this so called ” America’s qb”. I’m as big a bucs fan as anyone however I’ll NEVER be blinded by it. Jw has great potential but as of today dude is inconsistent, he makes stupid decisions on AND off the field, and he’s a f***** turnover machine. That being said he does plenty of good w the ball too, which is why I believe in his talent (for the time being). As for the cute little nickname, not quite sure what it means but if it means anything close to what I think it does he DEFINATELY ain’t it.He has a lot more growing to do to fit the bill. As a man, a leader, AND a qb.its called being objective and realistic. You shld try it out

  59. Maze Says:

    Murray was trash during the playoffs Joe, the most important games of his career when it mattered. Hard ass pass.

  60. THETRUTH Says:

    Get me a speed back enough with the same style players. If he was a difference maker her would not be let go.

    Bring in a difference maker !!!

  61. THETRUTH Says:

    … not same style RB player we have.

    … he would not be let go.

  62. BucFanInPhoenix Says:

    Is it so much who is carrying the ball or the line in front of the guy carrying the ball? I tend to lean more towards the line. I think if our line was better we wouldn’t have to focus so much on who was running behind it. I want to see our line be mean, nasty, open holes, pull forward and make blocks upfield, attack and be aggressive in the run game. And I just don’t see that with our line the way it is now.

  63. Perimeter Blocker Says:

    Cutting Baker … + by –

  64. johnnybuc Says:

    no thanks i’d take crowell over him and i’m not high on either

  65. Rod Munch Says:

    Telling you guys, my guy who knows the Vikings inside and out and keeps a close eye on the Bucs as well says McKinnon is the same player as Sims, and no Sims isn’t a step down, he says they’re the same guy. McKinnon isn’t an every down back, he’s a guy who did what Sims did a couple of years ago when he had blocking, he made some great 3rd down runs and caught a ton of passes, then the Bucs for some reason tried to start him and it was a disaster. That is what McKinnon is, and he wants Doug Martin money.

    Could he be wrong? I doubt it. McKinnon isn’t a young guy, he’s seen him for years, with good offenses and bad ones and with good lines and bad lines, and he’s not an every down back but he wants to be paid like one.