The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a busy offseason schedule ahead of them this year. After miraculously retaining every starter from their Super Bowl championship team last year, the task appears to be daunting this time around.
A Key Figure
— Matt Lombardo (@MattLombardoNFL) February 13, 2022
From The Outhouse To The Penthouse
Leonard Fournette came to the Buccaneers in 2020 after an unceremonious departure from Jacksonville. After a rocky start in Tampa, Fournette flourished. He started hitting his stride late in the regular season. Then in the playoffs he went off including 136 total yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl.
The Buccaneers are looking at the potential to lose running backs Fournette and Ronald Jones to free agency. This would leave a large hole in the Bucs depth chart. It would also put second year back Ke’Shawn Vaughn as the potential starter. While Vaughn has shown flashes, it’s hard to believe the team thinks he’s ready for the bulk of the work at the position.
The Other Guys
It’s not like there isn’t any decent backs available in free agency. Names like Melvin Gordon, Chase Edmonds, Cordarrelle Patterson, James Conner, J.D. McKissic, and Sony Michel are all viable options. But with Fournette you know exactly what you’re getting and he already has a grasp on Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich’s offense.
Fournette turned 27 in January, he’s still young and in his prime, but that actually increases his value which doesn’t help the Buccaneers at all. This may come down to a numbers game, which doesn’t favor the Bucs. With limited cap room and a list of free agents longer that a Tom Brady pass to Scotty Miller at Lambeau Field, the Bucs have some hard decisions to make. With a limited amount of cap room it may simply come down to the Bucs having to chose between keeping Fournette or Chris Godwin. Yikes!
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