Bucs Among “Several Teams” Pushing to Sign Leonard Fournette

Getty Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette

On Monday, head coach Bruce Arians gave a surprisingly cavalier response when asked about the Buccaneers adding Leonard Fournette.

“We’ll wait and see. He’s been a good player. We have to see where he fits,” Arians said.

Fournette has since cleared waivers and Tampa Bay is one of “several teams” pushing to sign the tailback, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com reports.

The Patriots are one of those teams, as Pro Football Action relays. New England has a cluster of backs in their backfield led by former first-rounder Sony Michel.

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Buccaneers’ Running Back Situation

The Buccaneers have a full roster of running backs with Ronald Jones II as the lead back in the offense. The former USC Trojan could be a league-winner in fantasy, as Pro Football Action explains, and on the field, he could be the guy that Tampa counts on to keep the offense going as they look to keep Brady from overextending his game.

Jones has been getting a ton of hype during Buccaneers’ camp, though if the team inks Fournette, the optimism would dampen. Fournette proved to be a contributor in the passing game in 2019, catching 76 balls. Jones has been working on his pass-catching skills in hopes of getting more out of that area of the game. Tom Brady, who’s has made stars out of pass-catching backs in the past, has been giving Jones tips since camp started.

Behind Jones is LeSean McCoy, who signed a one-year deal with the franchise this offseason, and Ke’Shawn Vaughn, whom the team drafted in the third round of the 2020 draft. Dare Ogunbowale and Raymond Calais round out the roster, though neither are locks to make the team.

Jaguars Head Into Life Without Fournette

Leonard reportedly wanted a trade from Jacksonville this offseason and at the time, the Jaguars discussed the running back with other clubs. Fournette’s value on the trade market wasn’t great and no trade materialized, leading to his release less than two weeks before the start of the NFL season.

Fournette was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 draft. He has played in 36 of a possible 48 games over the past three years, accumulating 2631 yards on 4.3 yards per carry. The 25-year-old has 17 touchdowns in his career.

Ryquell Armstead will likely be the beneficiary in Jacksonville’s backfield, as Jacob Rongholt of Pro Football Action relayed. Armstead was the main back at Temple University, rushing for nearly 1100 touchdowns and 13 touchdowns in 2019. The former fifth-rounder has the ability to make quick cuts, advance the ball ahead, and make big plays with 4.45 speed (in the 40-yard dash).

The team also has Chris Thompson, who followed offensive coordinator Jay Gruden from Washington to Jacksonville. Third on the depth chart is Devine Ozigbo, who went undrafted in 2019 out of the University of Nebraska. He has his best season as a senior, rushing for 1,082 yards and scoring 12 touchdowns.

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