In a move that surprised everyone, the Bucs signing running back Leonard Fournette to a one year contract.
The NFL Network is reporting that Fournette will be paid $2 million this season. That could go as high as $3.5 million with incentives.
Fournette, cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars rushed for 1,152 yards last season with three touchdowns.
Fournette a top-five pick out of LSU in 2017 has rushed for over 2,600 yards in his career with 17 touchdowns.
Fournette is a hard runner that likes to run between the tackles. Fournette is one of those backs that will get you those tough yards when you need them, without having to rely on great blocking from the offensive line.
One of the most surprising stats was the number of catches Fournette had out of the backfield. Fournette caught 76 passes last year for 522 yards. That was good for 6.9 yards a catch.
With Brady making use of his running backs as part of the passing game, this is another weapon that Brady will have in his arsenal.
The Bucs now have Fournette, LeSean McCoy, and Dare Ogunbowale as legitimate pass-catching threats out of the backfield. Add Ronald Jones to the mix, and this backfield quickly becomes one of the better backfields on paper.
The bigger question is who goes, and who stays?
The Bucs will carry four running backs on the roster That does not bode well for the rookies Ke’ Shawn Vaughan the third pick from Vanderbilt, and Raymond Calais, the seventh-round pick from Louisiana Lafayette.
Vaughan got off to a slow start in training camp missing the first week of practices due to COVID 19.
With no rookie camp, mini-camp, and the cancellation of the pre-season, it has been difficult for Vaughan to showcase his skills to make his case to make the team.
Since being allowed to practice with the team, Vaughan has not exactly been impressive in the opportunities he has been given.
The best-case scenario is that Vaughan will not make the team. The Bucs will sign him to the practice squad, along with running back Raymond Calais.
The Bucs could also move on from LeSean McCoy, although that seems unlikely. McCoy has over 10,000 yards rushing and 500 catches in his Hall Of Fame career.
Ronald Jones is coming off his third season and the best season of his young career. I can’t imagine that the Bucs would be ready to give up on Jones just yet.
The Bucs will need to make a move to accommodate Fournette’s salary. The Bucs were approximately $1.2 million under the salary cap before the Fournette signing.
The Bucs will need to get down to the 53 man roster limit by Sept. 5th at 4 PM. This year the practice squad has been expanded from 12-16 players.