Last year, the Buccaneers managed to bring back all of their free agents. This year, some have already left.
One key contributor remains available. Running back Leonard Fournette is unsigned. He reportedly visited the Patriots on Monday. Also on Monday, Buccaneers GM Jason Licht addressed the possibility of bringing Fournette back for a third year in Tampa.
“I’d say that we’ll continue talks with a lot of our players, and we’ll do the best we can,” Licht said. “We would love to have Leonard back.”
The problem could be money. Fournette, we’ve heard, entered free agency hopeful to get $12 million per year. That’s definitely not happening in New England. Gold in Tampa. Or probably anywhere.
The fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft, Fournette washed out of Jacksonville before turning his career around with the Buccaneers. He parlayed an injury to starter Ronald Jones into a major role late in the 2020 Super Bowl run. Last year, Fournette was the top tailback option for the Bucs.
With Jones also a free agent, the Buccaneers could be relying on Ke’Shawn Vaughn or a newcomer (or two), if Fournette moves on.