Leonard Fournette has re-signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a two-year deal worth between $21 million and $24 million, per Ian Rapoport. The free agent running back was the top free agent running back available and after a visit with the New England Patriots, he is returning to Tampa.
Fournette was drafted with the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. They declined to pick up his fifth-year option and they weren’t able to trade him so they ended up just waiving him before the 2020 season. Then he won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that same year. With his performance in the 2020 season, the Bucs brought him back on a one-year deal.
Playoff Lenny was a big thing in 2020, but that success didn’t really translate to the 2021 season. Fournette played in 14 games and had 180 rushing attempts for 812 yards with eight touchdowns. At this point in his career, Fournette looks like a great back to pair with an elusive back in a back field. He would be the perfect thunder to complement lightning.
What it means for the Buccaneers
The Bucs are running it back with much of their roster following Tom Brady’s decision to un-retire. Fournette returns to a backfield that includes Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Kenjon Barner, and theoretically could still re-sign Giovani Bernard. Fournette likely remain the lead back, but Vaughn should get a bigger workload with Jones likely not returning.