Less than a week after he was waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars, former top-5 draft pick Leonard Fournette has apparently found a new home in the NFL after reaching an agreement with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
On Wednesday night, Fournette took to Twitter to share an image of himself in a Buccaneers uniform, tagging the team’s account and adding a “GoBucs” hashtag, as he seemingly confirmed the news of his impending move. As reported by ESPN, the running back agreed to a one-year contract that could be worth as much as $3.5 million with incentives.
— 7⃣ Leonard Fournette (@_fournette) September 3, 2020
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, rumors of the Bucs’ interest in Fournette heated up Wednesday when Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer referred to the organization as a “serious suitor” for the 25-year-old. At that time, however, reports hinted that head coach Bruce Arians was taking a “wait and see” approach when it came to the possibility of Fournette signing with Tampa Bay. The New England Patriots were also mentioned as a possible destination for the incoming fourth-year player.
Prior to the Jaguars’ decision to waive Fournette on Monday, the former No. 4 overall draft pick spent three seasons with the team, enjoying his best statistical season in 2019 with 1,152 rushing yards, 522 receiving yards, and three touchdowns. This made up for a 2018 campaign where he missed several games due to injuries and a suspension and was “admittedly not in ideal shape” toward the end of the year. However, he was placed on the trading block in May after Jacksonville chose not to pick up the fifth-year option on his contract.
Furthermore, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone was quoted as saying the organization waived Fournette because it was the “best decision for us as a team” and the move was strictly based on his on-field performance, as opposed to any off-field issues he might have had.
As further noted by ESPN, the new development with Fournette came close to one month after Tampa Bay signed another established running back in veteran LeSean McCoy — a former Pro Bowler who last played for the Kansas City Chiefs. According to the outlet, McCoy has “absorbed the playbook” since joining the Buccaneers and also had a good showing during last week’s scrimmage.
In addition to Fournette and McCoy, the Bucs’ running back depth chart also includes Ronald Jones, who won the starting job early in training camp, third-down specialist Dare Ogunbowale, and 2020 draft picks Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Raymond Calais.