While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have gone through a pretty tough offseason, things seem to be much more difficult for one former player.
Leonard Fournette was released back in February as part of a massive cost cutting measure the Bucs front office needed to make. The team entered the offseason $55 million over the salary cap and that meant making some tough decisions to get back under that figure.
While it hurt to see Lenny leave, it was a mutual decision. After Tom Brady retired, Fournette reportedly asked the Bucs to release him and that request was granted soon after. Since then, it’s been tough sledding for the former Bucs running back as he’s encountered a market that is currently a subject of hot debate in football circles.
The running back market is all out of whack, there’s no other way to put it. Saquon Barkley is locked in a battle with the New York Giants to get fair payment, while guys like Ezekiel Elliott and Dalvin Cook remain unsigned.
Fournette entered a market that got both over saturated and undervalued, which was a perfect storm of terrible fortune that has resulted in him not having a deal just days before training camps around the league are set to open.
It appears that might finally be changing, though.
AFC East contender bringing in Leonard Fournette for a workout
With training camps opening soon, there’s an expectation that teams will go through another round of free agent signings in order to bring veterans in for a tryout. Fournette seems to be among that group.
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the New England Patriots are bringing him in for a workout this week.
It seems like a perfect fit for Fournette, as the Patriots and Bill Belichick have always had a knack for collecting running backs and deploying them at a pretty decent rate. There’s never been one true running back in New England, rather just various groups of guys that have often included former top tier stars.
Remember when Corey Dillon spent some time with the Patriots?
Fournette doesn’t have a contract offer yet but if things go well it’s hard to see him not getting one before his workout wraps up. He’s a fit for the Patriots offense and demonstrated in Tampa Bay he still has enough left in the tank to make a difference when it counts.
He gave Bucs fans one of the best moments of the 2020 Super Bowl run when he scored that incredible touchdown in Green Bay, cementing his legacy as Playoff Lenny.
It won’t be the first time the Bucs-to-Patriots pipeline has watched players switch uniforms. Tom Brady is the most famous example but guys like Rob Gronkowski, Aqib Talib, Shaq Mason, and LeGarrette Blount have all gone from one team to the other.
Fournette would be a fitting next installment in that list, and it’s hard not to root for him getting a shot with the Patriots and carrying on his career with a potential contender.