Leonard Fournette wants back in Tampa.
While the restless eyes jump ahead to the draft for the Buccaneers and building up their roster for another Super Bowl run, the free-agent market will prove far more important. The Bucs will want to bring back as many free agents as possible, and Leonard Fournette has already made his wishes known.
Tampa has just become one of the premier free agent destinations in the NFL. With a Super Bowl win in hand and Tom Brady showing that Benjamin Button disease may not be fictitious after all, anyone who wants a shot at glory of their own will reach out to the Bucs in the coming months.
The Buccaneers will have their pick of the top talent in the league, but their priority should be keeping the roster intact. If Leonard Fournette wants to return, Tampa Bay has no choice but to accept him with open arms.
Buccaneer Fournette did not emerge as “Playoff Lenny” from day one in Tampa. Fournette had some good games that were propped up statistically by some broken runs, but the Buccaneer number two didn’t show great vision in his chances at the start of the season, all while Ronald Jones was excelling.
Leonard Fournette was a force of nature in the playoffs
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Fournette’s regular season wasn’t anything extraordinary, but the playoffs have been something entirely different. In four playoff games, Fournette accounted for 448 total yards on 82 touches. 5.4 yards per touch by Fournette throughout the most important games of the season completely opened up the Buccaneer offense, and Tampa Bay isn’t in a position to move away from this production.
Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette make for a fantastic duo that should only get better in 2021. Now, teams will have to prepare for two bruisers between the tackles, and the Bucs would keep some insurance at a position the is notoriously bad with injuries.
Keeping Fournette would also save the Buccaneers from themselves in the draft. The Bucs do not need a running back in the early rounds, even if they move on from Fournette. Tampa Bay still needs a pass-catcher, but they can find one in a later round (see Kenneth Gainwell).
If the Buccaneers want to repeat their present success and Fournette wants to stay in Tampa, the match already appears to be set in stone for next season. The Bucs could theoretically turn Fournette down or refuse to budge on money, but keeping this unit intact will prove to be extremely helpful in the playoffs again next season.
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