Leonard Fournette Reveals He Turned Down Other Teams to Pick Bills

Leonard Fournette

Getty Former Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

As a free agent for the first half of the NFL season, Leonard Fournette said he was waiting for the right opportunity with the right team.

He found it with the Buffalo Bills.

The Bills signed the 28-year-old running back to their practice squad this week, adding depth and some versatility that replaced some of what was lost when veteran Damien Harris was placed on injured reserve with a neck injury. Fournette spoke out about his decision to sign with the Bills, saying he had other opportunities with different teams but felt Buffalo was the right destination for him.

Leonard Fournette Wanted ‘Fresh Start’

Talking to reporters on November 3, Fournette revealed that he had offers from some other teams but said he saw the chance for a fresh start in Buffalo.

“I had a couple teams reach out to me. But I really wanted to do what’s best for me, a fresh start out here in Buffalo,” Fournette said, via USA Today’s Bills Wire. “I have a lot left in the tank to play, it was all about the right opportunity.”

The Bills had already shown interest in Fournette, scheduling a workout earlier in October before ultimately canceling it. As NFL insider Jordan Schultz reported at the time, the Bills had expected to lose another running back off their practice squad and were prepared to bring in Fournette as a replacement.

“Update: I’m told Leonard Fournette’s visit with the #Bills is being scratched,” Schultz reported. “My understanding is Buffalo was expecting to lose RB Ty Johnson from their practice squad, which was the reason they were bringing Lenny in. But Johnson is now staying, and Lenny will wait for a better opportunity.”

The Bills remained in contact with Fournette, general manager Brandon Beane said, and the two sides reached a contract agreement this week.

“We’ve been talking to Leonard (for) a little bit,” Beane said via video conference. “At this point, he was ready to join a team, so I’m excited to get him here.”

The Bills have stressed the importance of their run game this year, especially as a way to take the load off quarterback Josh Allen. The Bills quarterback is on pace for career lows in rushing attempts and yards, with the team emphasizing the need for him to take fewer hits over the course of the season.

Bills Add More Veterans

Fournette wasn’t the only new addition to Buffalo’s roster this week. The Bills also traded for Green Bay Packers cornerback Rasul Douglas and signed defensive tackle Linval Joseph.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott said he believes the veterans will all make important contributions, even if they might get out to a slow start while getting up to speed.

“Our veteran players, Rasul and also Linval – in this case – experienced players, us getting a feel for them, how much do they know? Can they pick up the system? I think they’ll be good additions for us. I think what remains is what level of impact are able to make for us,” McDermott said in an appearance on WGR 550.

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