Fournette Visits Patriots, Buccaneers Practice Patience

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in the process of putting a championship team around recently returned quarterback Tom Brady. The Bucs won’t be able to repeat last seasons accomplishment of bringing back every starter, but they’re dam sure trying

The team has been able to re-sign some of their free agent priorities in Chris Godwin (WR), Ryan Jensen (C), Carlton Davis (DB), Breshad Perriman (WR) and Aaron Stinnie (G). They have also brought in via trade or signing Shaq Mason (G), Russell Gage (WR) and Logan Ryan (S). That’s a pretty impressive haul all things considered.

So who should the Buccaneers prioritize next? I may be in the minority here but I believe Leonard Fournette (RB) should be the next target for the team to retain. Yes I know running backs are a diminished position in this pass heavy league, but Fournette fits this scheme perfectly. So when Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported that Fournette was visiting the New England Patriots Monday the anxiety started.

Fournette has been the Buccaneers best running back the past couple of years. As of today the Bucs only have one running back (Ke’Shawn Vaughn) under contract. That’s a huge hole in the depth chart, one that can easily be filled by signing Fournette. As Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reported Monday, Buccaneers GM Jason Licht stated he’d love to have Fournette back, but talks are still continuing.

Reports say Fournette is looking for something in the $10-12 million per year range. After a couple of weeks into free agency he may have realized that number wasn’t happening. I would never fault a player for trying to maximize their worth. One man’s money is not another man’s concern in my opinion. With that said, the Buccaneers did take a chance when they brought Fournette in. His reputation right or wrong wasn’t great coming out of Jacksonville, neither was his first few months in Tampa. But the Bucs stuck with him, and he turned it around, so much so that “Playoff Lenny” is now how Buccaneers fans refer to him.

The Buccaneers have been patient in the handling of Fournette since he’s been here and it payed off. The same patience the team is practicing with Fournette in free agency, wait and see. At this point we all should practice this philosophy, the question is, will Fournette?

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