Rodgers has lost about six pounds throughout the offseason and has added quickness as a result, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.
Rodgers has been praised by running backs coach Tim Spencer heading into the Buccaneers' OTAs for his work ethic during the offseason. An increased level of athleticism and confidence bodes well for Rodgers' chances at seeing additional touches early in the season while Doug Martin serves his three-game suspension, with Charles Sims (pectoral) and rookie Jeremy McNichols (shoulder) also factoring into the mix. Rodgers is already a versatile weapon out of the backfield, while a slight reduction in weight figures to boost his agility.
Rodgers will face competition from 2017 fifth-round pick Jeremy McNichols in the coming season, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports.
Rodgers was a pleasant surprise last season after signing with the Bucs following a preseason release from the Bears, compiling a personal-best 560 rushing yards while carrying the ball a career-high 129 times. He re-signed on a cap-friendly two-year deal this offseason, but McNichols represents serious competition in terms of playing time. The rookie brings the entirety of Rodgers' skill set to the table but in more spectacular fashion, having logged more "explosive" pass plays of 16 or more yards than any other running back in his draft class outside of Tennessee's Alvin Kamara as per Thomas Bassinger of the Tampa Bay Times. McNichols also has 3,205 rushing yards (5.6 YPA) over 34 college games on his resume and solid pass-blocking skills, making him a younger and higher-ceiling version of Rodgers. However, with questions still surrounding No. 1 back Doug Martin (suspension) -- as well as his guaranteed absence for the first three weeks of the season -- Rodgers offers the Bucs the security blanket of a veteran back who is also intimately familiar with head coach Dirk Koetter's system.
Rodgers agreed to a two-year contract to stay in Tampa Bay, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Released by Chicago after the preseason, Rodgers surprisingly found himself in a prominent role with Tampa Bay later in the year, helping the Bucs overcome injuries to Doug Martin (suspension) and Charles Sims (pectoral). Rodgers is probably only the third option when everyone's available, but Martin and Sims have both struggled to stay healthy, and Martin has three games remaining on the suspension he was handed in December.
Rodgers is expected to re-sign with Tampa Bay, ESPN's Jenna Laine reports.
Rodgers, who finished the 2016 season with 560 rushing yards and two TDs on 129 carries, also caught 13 passes for 98 yards over the course of 10 contests for the Bucs. In his expected return to the team's backfield mix, Rodgers would likely profile as a complementary option, though the team's overall approach to the position is tied to the status of Doug Martin, who is slated to miss the first three games of the 2017 season as he completes a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances.
Rodgers' agent will meet with the Bucs at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this week to begin gauging the possibility of the running back's return in 2017, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.
Rodgers took on a much larger role with the Bucs last season than originally expected, as he finished the campaign with a career-high 560 yards rushing on a solid 4.3 YPC. He logged five starts overall due to injuries and an eventual suspension of Doug Martin and was able to demonstrate an ability to handle a lead back's workload. General manager Jason Licht has conceded that the team "really likes Jacquizz" and would ideally want him back, particularly in light of Martin's suspension and generally uncertain future with the club. However, due to the fact that Rodgers, a six-year veteran, is a minimum salary benefit player, the Bucs are not able to work out a deal with him until free agency officially kicks off, rendering any discussions this week purely exploratory in nature.
|P1||8/11/17||@ CIN||7:30 pm|
|P2||8/17/17||@ JAC||8:00 pm|
|1||9/10/17||@ MIA||1:00 pm|
|3||9/24/17||@ MIN||1:00 pm|
|6||10/15/17||@ ARI||4:05 pm|
|7||10/22/17||@ BUF||1:00 pm|
|9||11/5/17||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 11|
|12||11/26/17||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|13||12/3/17||@ GB||1:00 pm|
|16||12/24/17||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10||5||129||560||4.3||45||2||3||29|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10||5||13||98||7.5||21||0||1||0||3|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|