Former Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette has found a new home, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday night that the former No. 4 overall pick had agreed in principle to a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers were always considered to be one of the favorites to snag Fournette, even though they have plenty of depth at the running back position. With Ronald Jones, Dare Ogunbowale and rookie Ke’Shawn Vaughn, the Buccaneers weren’t a team expected to scour the market for running backs, but that’s exactly what they have done this offseason.

In July, the Bucs signed former Kansas City Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy despite him having just turned 32 years old. Tom Brady found success with the New England Patriots in a system that touted many talented backs, and the Bucs apparently felt they needed to add another once Fournette hit the market.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Fournette had two other potential landing spots to choose from, but the Buccaneers were a clear favorite. Fournette confirmed the development on his Twitter account not long after the news broke. 

Fournette was released by the Jaguars earlier this week and went unclaimed on waivers. He was set to enter the final year of his rookie deal in 2020 and earn $4.17 million in base salary. That amount was fully guaranteed, and thus he’s scheduled to still receive it on his way out. The caveat there is the Jaguars will at least put up a fight to try and avoid paying it, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, having voided the guaranteed money while leaning on a previous suspension to justify it, but Fournette has filed a grievance to get his money.

In 2019, Fournette recorded 1,674 yards from scrimmage along with a career-high 4.3 yards per carry. What was most impressive about last year is that he evolved into more of a receiving back, as Fournette caught a team-leading 76 receptions for a career-high 522 yards. Fournette likely won’t play the role of the pass-catcher with the Bucs, but he proved in 2019 that he is at least capable of doing so. 


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