Reports that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would release running back Leonard Fournette on March 15th broke Tuesday.
This move will save the Bucs around $3.5 million against the cap this season. Tampa Bay will still have about $53 million to go, since the team has a large amount of money tied up in voidable years and big contracts to veterans such as Mike Evans, Carlton Davis, and others.
Via ESPN’s Jenna Laine,
“That’s part of the business, part of it. You know, the business side of it is always ugly,” coach Todd Bowles stated. “Anytime you have a good team, you’re gonna have some expensive players, and when it’s time to pay the piper, you gotta start to make some cuts and make the smart decisions without undercutting your team. But at the same time, going forward and getting some young guys in here that can replace ’em and play.”
Fournette has since confirmed this with Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. But “Playoff Lenny” states he asked to be released.
“I asked after the season to be [released], and they respected my wishes,” Fournette told Stroud. “So no bad blood.”
Fournette stated he will look for a destination that has a chance to win it all. Translation, “Playoff Lenny” is turning into “Front-Runner Lenny”
“Winning is everything,” Fournette stated. “That’s all. And in my last three years here, that’s all we’ve done. But since my guy [Brady] left, that’s why I came, so my time here was up.”
Now, the Bucs turn to third-round pick from last year’s draft Rachaad White, as he will more than likely assume the starting role coming out of the backfield.
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