Buccaneers: Breakout star is forcing Tampa’s hand

Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

It doesn’t matter what the Buccaneers were planning to do with Leonard Fournette before this season. Now, they have no choice but to pay him. Hopefully that number isn’t too high.

The Buccaneers came into the season as the epitome for why teams don’t invest in running backs. Tampa hasn’t been great at drafting the position, but their offense is still one of the best in the league through the heavy use of the pass.

This thought-process has become more common over the years as the pass becomes easier due to rule changes, the increased talent of quarterbacks, and some transcendent talent at wide receiver.

The pass is king, so paying running backs is a dangerous precedent to set.

Tampa has been good at avoiding paying the position over the past few seasons, but they may not have any choice but to extend Leonard Fournette to a multi-year deal after the season he has put together.

Fournette has emerged as one of the best running backs in the NFL with the Bucs, and his abilities to succeed on the ground and through the air have played a huge role in the offense over the past few games.

There are many series where it feels like every touch goes to the running back. Whether it’s a run or a short pass, Fournette gets a heavy number of touches, and his success this season is worth acknowledging.

The Bucs don’t have the money to break the bank for Fournette with players like Chris Godwin and Carlton Davis coming up, but the Bucs do get a lot out of Fournette for his value.

Assuming the rest of the season continues at its current rate, Fournette may just do enough in the passing game to necessitate a new multi-year deal, and the Bucs would be happy to give it.

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