The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to get the band back together, re-signing Super Bowl champion running back Leonard Fournette to a three-year, $21 million contract in free agency. The former fourth overall pick out of LSU by the Jacksonville Jaguars drew interest from other teams around the league, including the New England Patriots, but struck a deal to return for his third season in Tampa Bay and sixth season overall.

With Tom Brady’s swift un-retirement and the franchise tagging of wide receiver Chris Godwin, and now the re-signing of Fournette, the Buccaneers offense is gearing up for one more shot at the Super Bowl next season.

After rushing for over 1,000 yards twice in three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Fournette carried the ball just 97 times for 367 yards and six touchdowns in 2020, finding most of his success near the goal line. But Fournette ripped off another 300 yards and three touchdowns over the span of four playoff games in the Buccaneers Super Bowl 55 Championship run, earning the nickname “Playoff Lenny.”

Fournette took on a more consistent role in the Buccaneers rushing offense in 2021, starting 13 games and rushing for 812 yards and eight touchdowns on 180 attempts, good for a career-high 4.5 yards per carry.

Fournette hit short-term injured reserve following Week 15 last season with a hamstring injury, and returned for the Buccaneers divisional round loss to the eventual Super Bowl 56 champion Los Angeles Rams. Fournette tallied 51 rushing yards and two scores on 13 carries in his return to the field.

Earning $7 million per season on his new deal, Fournette will likely retain and possibly even expand on his status as the Buccaneers featured running back in 2022. Fournette is joined in the backfield by third-year running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn and journeyman Kenjon Barner.




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Header Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

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