Free-agent running back Leonard Fournette is re-signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a one-year deal worth $3.25 million with impetuses that would push it to $4 million, a source told ESPN.
Fournette was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars only days before the 2020 season opener, and the Buccaneers signed him to a one-year deal worth $2 million. It implied taking on a reinforcement role behind Ronald Jones, which Fournette admitted was a challenge for him, yet his obligation to being a team player paid off.
Jones endured a broken finger, went on the hold/COVID-19 list and suffered a quad injury, all of which constrained him to miss Weeks 15 and 16 and the wild-card game at Washington. That permitted Fournette the chance to step up and go for 225 total yards and four touchdowns in that span, including 93 yards and two touchdowns against Washington, which procured him the nickname “Playoff Lenny.”
His epithet was before long changed to “Lombardi Lenny” after Fournette got done with 448 complete yards in the postseason – the vast majority of any player from scrimmage. His four touchdowns in the playoffs were the fourth most in franchise postseason history and incorporated a 27-yard touchdown run in Super Bowl LV.
With the arrival of Fournette, the Bucs are currently returning each of the 22 offensive and defensive starters from their championship team.
Fournette, who turned 26 in January, was the fourth overall pick in 2017 by the Jaguars, who declined to get his fifth-year option last May prior to releasing him in September. After a troublesome 2018 season where he was on the bench in crunch time, fined and scrutinized, Fournette reacted with his best season statistically in 2019, rushing for a career-best 1,152 yards and getting 76 passes for 522 yards with three total touchdowns.
He has 2,998 rushing yards with 23 rushing touchdowns and 170 receptions for 1,242 yards and two touchdown catches in 49 career regular-season games.