Ex-Bucs $21 Million Star Could Sign With Cowboys, Analyst Says

Tom Brady

Getty Tom Brady congratulates Leonard Fournette after a touchdown in the 2020 Super Bowl.

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers star running back Leonard Fournette has yet to find a home, but one analyst sees “Big D” as the destination.

Pro Football Focus’ Marcus Mosher suggested that the Dallas Cowboys will sign Fournette before training camp. The Bucs released Fournette in march due to salary cap restraints amid his three-year, $21 million deal.

Dallas notably released running back Ezekiel Elliott this offseason due to his contract. Elliott, a player who has been linked to the Bucs, had a six-year, $90 million deal with the Cowboys.

“I do get the sense that they’re probably going to bring in another veteran or two like you mentioned,” Mosher said on the “Locked on Cowboys” podcast on May 31. “Remember the Cowboys signed Anthony Barr once training camp started last year. Maybe they’ll do a similar move. I’m still looking at the running back position.”

“That’s still one where I feel like [a move is coming]. I don’t think it’s going to be Ezekiel Elliott coming back, but maybe it’s somebody like a Leonard Fournette or somebody just to give them something else in that backfield. I’m looking at that position,” Mosher said.

Fournette played three seasons for the Bucs and helped the team win a Super Bowl in 2020. He amassed 1,847 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground plus 178 catches for 1,210 yards and five scores in his Bucs tenure.

Leonard Fournette Rose and Declined in Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay acquired Fournette in 2020 after the Jacksonville Jaguars released him before the season. As Fournette emerged as the Bucs’ lead back, he became known as “Playoff Lenny” for the team’s postseason run to the Super Bowl.

Fournette’s solid play continued in 2021, and management rewarded him with his $21 million deal. Then, the Bucs hit reality amid the retirement of quarterback Tom Brady and a salary cap deficit that teetered toward $55 million this offseason.

The Bucs will roll with Rachaad White as the lead back in place of Fournette. White became the starter in place of Fournette during the 2022 season amid the running game’s league-worst struggles.

Fournette only ran for 3.5 yards per carry as he tallied 668 yards and three touchdowns. White provided a little more spark with 3.7 yards per carry amid 481 yards and a touchdown in 60 fewer carries than Fournette.

Despite a down year, Fournette still has something to offer. Fournette finished as the third-leading receiver with the Bucs in 2022.

He caught 73 passes for 523 yards and three touchdowns. He also had a catch percentage of 88% , the best on the team for anyone with three or more catches.

How much Fournette will land for a contract with any team remains to be seen. Spotrac projects a two-year, $4.6 million deal for the former LSU star, who went No. 4 in the 2017 NFL Draft to the Jaguars.

Rachaad White Expects ‘a Lot of Balls’ in Passing Game

While the Bucs lost a reliable pass catcher in Fournette, White could fill that void. The second-year back expects it.

White expects “a lot of balls” in the passing game this season, he said on SiriusXM Fantasy Radio on Monday, June 5. He made solid plays in the passing game last season amid 50 catches for 290 yards and five touchdowns with an 86.2% catch percentage.

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