Buccaneers Re-Sign Leonard Fournette

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: The Buccaneers are keeping the band together. On Friday, GM Jason Licht struck a new one-year deal with running back Leonard Fournette (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Fournette is set to earn $3.25MM with the chance to reach $4MM via incentives. Apparently, that was enough for Fournette to say no to the Seahawks and other suitors.

The former No. 4 overall pick found his way to the Bucs after the Jaguars dropped him last summer. Serving as Ronald Jones‘ backup for much of the year, Fournette shined as the starter from Week 15 onward. In the regular season, Fournette averaged 3.8 yards per carry in 13 games. He also reeled in 36 passes for 233 yards, giving him 600 all-purpose yards for the year. He saved his best for the playoffs, collecting four touchdowns and 448 yards from scrimmage in four games.

The Buccaneers’ high-powered passing offense certainly had something to do with his resurgence. With the Jaguars’, Fournette faced stacked boxes on 39% of his carries from 2017-19. In Tampa, he’s got tons of offensive weapons around him to keep defenses honest.

Some wondered if the Buccaneers would be able to keep their core in tact after their Super Bowl victory. But, in the last month, they’ve held on to Fournette, Chris Godwin, Shaquil Barrett, Lavonte David, Rob Gronkowski, Ndamukong Suh, and other key pieces. Next, the Bucs will look to re-sign wide receiver Antonio Brown.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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13 comments on “Buccaneers Re-Sign Leonard Fournette

  1. Lars MacDonald

    These resigning efforts have been pretty impressive.

    Having Brady certainly helps, but teams are usually poached pretty heavily after winning the Super Bowl.

    • ruckus727

      Less money around the league means less poaching. With the cap projected to skyrocket next year, all these guys taking one year desks are betting on cashing in next season. Might as well return to where you can stay in the sane system and attempt to repeat. I think you’ll some see poaching next season.

    • sgord03

      I imagine it’s also easier to avoid poaching given the tax differential in Florida versus other states. Nonetheless, it’s been impressive.

  2. Blackjackscout

    Judging by the age of most of the players listed in the article, it almost looks like the Bucs are going to make the same mistake the Eagles made after their Superbowl win, by keeping too many older players. Except Tom.

    • padam

      Suh and Gronk are the only “older” players on that list. Brown hasn’t been retained, yet.

      • cka2nd

        David is 31, but his cap hit this year is minuscule, so even if his play utterly collapsed, it won’t cost them that much to keep him. If they wanted to cut him this year or next, the dead cap hits would be really big, but with an increase in the cap next year, they should be OK. And if his play doesn’t crater, it’s a good deal for all involved.

        • real_ttebow_

          Not saying I think the David contract will be a bust, but the cap number is not expected to skyrocket, more likely it will level back to 2019 numbers before slowly growing thereafter

          • cka2nd

            While I’ve heard it won’t skyrocket next year, I still doubt it will only bounce back to $198 mil like last year. And I have heard that the teams are mostly expecting it to skyrocket in 2023.

  3. I’m sure a post is in the works, but the 49ers just paid a fortune in picks to move up to the #3 spot. This year’s #12, a third rounder, and 2022 and 2023 first rounders to the Dolphins. Great trade for Miami.

  4. amk1920

    Every year people fall in love with the idea of the SB champ repeating and it doesn’t happen.

    • cka2nd

      It was a long time ago, but the last QB to do it was Tom Brady.

      More to the point, in the free agency era, you’re essentially right, but COVID and the resulting reduced salary cap has changed the dynamics of free agency this year, ruckus727 pointed out a couple of hours ago. If any SB winner is positioned to repeat – and the Chiefs might have if not for the AFC Championship Game injury to Fisher further scrambling their O line – the Bucs seem to be positioned now the best of all.

    • DarkSide830

      i mean, realistically, their chances of winning dont go down by winning last year, just goes to show how hard it is to be a true contender from year to year.

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