“Immediately Upgrade”

September 1st, 2020

Complete back.

It’s time for confession, Bucs fans. No need for a priest. Repent your sins.

You know, deep in your heart, the Bucs have one weakness. That’s at running back.

Oh sure, Joe was happy the Bucs got Shady McCoy. Even an old man at running back who has a resume is a welcome addition. Think about it: The best thing you can say about the current projected Bucs No. 1 back is that you hope he will be OK.

Hope. Pppfffttt. Let’s instead bank on reality and proven ability, shall we?

The Bucs are very open about being the first team to play in a Super Bowl in the very same stadium they call home. That would be this coming February when the Den of Depression will host a Super Bowl. And the Bucs are pretty much loaded up and down the roster.

Except for running back.

And all of a sudden a top-five running back hits the streets less than two weeks before your first game. Wow.

Leonard Fournette was cut by the Jags yesterday and it is widely believed he will clear waivers as no one will want to pick up his hefty contract.

Yes, it’s a valid question why the Jags would cut him? The Jags are in the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes. Winning (this year) does them no good.

Damn near every NFL writer Joe has read, when writing about Fournette, expects the Bucs to be a top landing spot for Fournette. That is not saying he will be here or the Bucs will pursue him. They should.

Yesterday, Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians didn’t exactly deny he had interest in Fournette when Joe asked him about the former LSU star. And last year Arians clearly was a big fan of Fournette the way he spoke about him.

Why does Joe call Fournette a top-five back? Well, there are few running backs who are as gifted as pass receivers as they are runners. Fournette is one of those.

Fournette had the fifth-most receiving yards from a running back in the NFL with 522 yards (just behind Alvin Kamara at 533). Fournette also had the fifth-most receptions for running backs with 72, just behind Tarik Cohen with 79). He had the seventh-most rushing yards.

Simply put, Fournette is a complete back.

The Bucs would pass on a guy like this who is just 25, why exactly? If the Bucs really are gunning for a Super Bowl, finding a way to fit Fournette under the cap should be at the top of the sheet on Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht’s to-do list.

Fournette would make the Bucs a complete team.

As for a locker room lawyer? Joe has no idea if Fournette was a bad egg or not. The Jags are a certifiable mess. The Bucs have visions of a Vince Lombardi Trophy.

If the Bucs didn’t have a tight ship, would Tom Brady have come here? Would Ndamukong Suh and Jason Pierre-Paul have re-signed? Would Lavonte David be in talks to extend his contract?

Joe will put it this way: There is no reason not to sign Fournette. If Seattle and Baltimore can constantly perform witchcraft on their salary caps each year, then a gifted accountant should be able to do the same for the Bucs.

49 Responses to ““Immediately Upgrade””

  1. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    One thing for sure – sign Fournette and you don’t need McCoy.

  2. 813bucboi Says:

    fournette, shady, rojo sounds like a solid group to me…

    GO BUCS!!!!

  3. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Go get him Coach!

  4. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    Joe, serious question – with our cap space how do we afford him?

  5. Joe Says:

    with our cap space how do we afford him?

    It’s not like you are signing a QB or a DE. Redo someone’s contract. Fournette might be had for $3 million for one year.

  6. SC Bucs Fan Says:


  7. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Seems like Cam Brate would be a prime candidate to have his contract redone. He’s making a boat load of coin, his numbers were pedestrian last year (granted he played hurt) and he is in a deep position group.

  8. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Is the ink dry on the contract proposal yet? Sign him, nothing to lose and everything to gain. ROJO could be good, we will see. But Fournette is a known quantity, 1600+ yards of offense is legit, simple as that. J Licht, just slide the contract across the table and let Mr Fournette know where to sign. GO BUCS !!!

  9. Mitch Says:

    I heard Pat and MJD talk about how Fournette spent last off-season in Wyoming rebuilding his attitude & mentality. Apparently he came in to the season as his “best self” last year. Knowing that and what he produced I can’t believe he is a free agent right now. The Bucs should do whatever it takes. He would without a doubt complete the offense.

    Side note – Jags are tanking.

  10. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Such a pretty picture Joe paints…

    Fournette’s talent aside-

    Was suspended by Jags for breaking team rules
    Had his guarantees voided by team
    Jags received No trade offers , zero interest from other teams , even though the Jets traded for Kallen Ballage (who?) for a conditional 7th rounder. So Ballage is worth a draft pick but Fournette isn’t??

    Bucs don’t need another Baker, Jackson, ASJ, etc

  11. Casual Observer Says:

    Maybe we can draft a “gifted accountant” next year. Like those other teams have.

  12. Tnoles Says:

    Sign him already. He is an upgrade over Rojo simple as that. Put him with McCoy and that’s a scary tandem.

  13. Cough Says:

    Alanbucsfan Says:
    September 1st, 2020 at 10:30 am
    Such a pretty picture Joe paints…

    Fournette’s talent aside-

    Was suspended by Jags for breaking team rules
    Had his guarantees voided by team
    Jags received No trade offers , zero interest from other teams , even though the Jets traded for Kallen Ballage (who?) for a conditional 7th rounder. So Ballage is worth a draft pick but Fournette isn’t??

    Bucs don’t need another Baker, Jackson, ASJ, etc

    The Bucs signed Tom Brady this offseason right?
    A guy suspended for literally cheating in games.

  14. unbelievable Says:

    Yup, he’s a cancer and a baby. Also, let’s compare their stats from 2019:

    Fournette – 4.3 yards per carry, 6.9 yards per reception
    Ro Jo II – 4.2 yards per carry, 10 yards per reception


    Maybe we should just feed RoJo the ball more?

  15. Joeypoppems Says:

    I dont see the upgrade. In what way is Fournette an upgrade? He isnt a skilled receiver. All his receptions were checkdowns where he caught the ball and fell forward for a couple extra yards. His receiving production says more about the Jags offense than it does his receiving skills.

    He is definitely not a Top-5 RB in the league. If you believe that then you are holding onto his LSU days.

    And if you add him you are essentially cutting a cheaper McCoy or your 2020 3rd round draft pick. Dont see a reason to get rid of either.

    All Fournette brings is name value.

  16. Hodad Says:

    Why is it we need every shiny new thing that becomes available?

  17. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    Alanbucsfan – if you trade for him you honor his contract – this way you get him much cheaper. He was due 8.6 million of traded.

  18. Joe Says:

    I dont see the upgrade. In what way is Fournette an upgrade?

    “Troll, troll, troll your boat, gently down the stream… “

  19. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Be very careful. If he truly is a cancer then signing him would be subtraction by addition.

  20. Richard Dickson Says:

    On a one-year prove-it deal? Sure.

  21. August 1976 Buc Says:

    As I posted yesterday, He is a stud RB, bring him in. A weakness would suddenly be a strength. If he starts any drama, Just Show Him The Door. No Strings Attached. GO BUCS!!!

  22. Danny C Says:

    We need to sign this guy and drop McCoy. Fournette is a true bell cow with pass catching ability. This is the perfect back for Arian’s offense.

    We need to pay this guys for SURE!

  23. Jmarkbuc Says:


    You know, deep in your heart, the Bucs have one weakness. That’s at running back….

    You are correct that position needs shoring up, but let’s not crown the secondary just yet. I’m hoping for the best, but I’ve been A Buc fan my whole life, and heard lots of preseason hype.

    Pretend I’m from Missouri.

  24. BridleOaks Buc Says:

    Lagarette Blount was a baby and a cancer. Got Bounced from the Bucs and the Steelers because he was such a bad influence in the locker room and off the field….Then he had Tom Brady and Belichick get him together and the won Super Bowls (plural).
    At first I was thinking hell no! Now, the more I’m thinking about it, I’m really intrigued as to what BA and the GOAT could do with this kid🧐

  25. unbelievable Says:

    ^ Except we only have half that equation (Brady)… And there was another article just this morning about how much less of a hardass Brady is being with the Bucs.

    Not to mention that the “culture” of this team which has been historically weak… Sadly, this team has net yet shown it has the mental fortitude to overcome locker room cancers.

    Also, check their stats from last year that I posted above. Very similar averages.

    The only difference if that Fournette got fed the rock constantly, where as RoJo barely averaged 10 measly rushing attempts per game!

    Feed the man!

  26. Joeypoppems Says:


    Not trolling. Ronald Jones was better per touch than Fournette last season. So where is the upgrade? He is just a big name player. He isnt a weapon in the passing game, the Jags just relentlessly checked down to him. He doesnt add anything there.

    And of course NFL writers want the big name FA to go to the medias favorite team. Easy headlines

  27. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Brate is turning out to be a stupid mistake, as well as a luxury we can’t really afford.
    I was stunned when the Jags let Fornette go.

  28. chris L Says:

    joe he isnt a top five talent. teams who are tanking dont just unload good players otherwise more players. there is more to the story and honestly the guy is injury prone. you also risk messing up the team chemistry of this team. *cough cough* swaggy baker and desean jackson. with brady i dont expect that but where are we getting the money and who is getting cut? i think the hype on fournette is exaggerated. he runs ferociously and has a lot of tread on those tires.

  29. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    Joe if this dude was a top 5 back he wouldn’t have been released. I know you are a bit off your rocker enamored with running backs but Fournette isn’t a top 5 talent. The guy had one good year and was cooked when he got into the league and runs like its 2003 in a very impractical way that gets himself beat up a lot.

  30. Tnole Says:

    Well he did have 1152 yds. last year in 15 games averaging 4.4 yds. per carry and had 76 receptions for 522 yds. Rojo 724 yds. at 4.2 yds. per carry. Fournette can catch the ball has Rojo figured out where to put his hands yet in oreder to catch it? I just think there are still too many unaswered questions with RoJo. I think Fournette is an upgrade simple as that. Can we sign him probably not

  31. Allbuccedup Says:

    If Fournette does want to play for the 4.1 mil owed to him. Lets see Brate 4.25 Shady Mc .750 Ryan Griffin 1.675 plus 1.5 mil still available that comes to about 8.2 throw it on the wall and see if it sticks.

  32. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    Fournette is inefficient. He had big numbers because of volume. Next Gen stats and advanced analytics show he is average at best, ranking near the bottom of starting running backs in elusiveness and creating on his own. RoJo is more talented and knows the system. McCoy is better at pass catching and operating in space.

    No need to get Fournette, our running back room is all set.

  33. Snook Says:

    Hahahahahaha!! Joe has hit the bottle early today. Top 5 back? Hahahahaha!!!

    Doesn’t Joe always bang on RBs for low Yards/carry numbers? Look at Fournette’s. Under 3.9 before 2019. Even now he’s only at 4.0 yds/carry.

    Please. And the guy has never completed an entire season. Jesus. 2019 was the anomaly for Fournette. Not the norm. PASS

  34. danr Says:

    we will have to claim him for 4m.

    I seriously doubt he is making it through waivers

  35. Hugh Janis Says:

    I’d say take a chance and sign him if they can fit him it under the cap. If he gets hurt again they still have Jones and McCoy. This is our year, so let’s go for it!

  36. Bucsfanman Says:

    For me, it’s hard to argue that he’s not an “upgrade”, and only 25.
    What I’m torn about is the draft capital invested at the position over the last couple of years. We have improved at most positions on offense. Are we giving up on our 2nd and 3rd round picks? Shady?
    The Pats had two RBs that I would consider “workhorse backs”: Corey Dillon and Blount. Most of the others were interchangeable and filled various roles.
    Could Shady, Rojo, Vaughn be that combo package? You KNOW Fournette will have to get touches. Does signing him create issues?
    All I know is that he’s on the street and is considered a decent RB. You HVE to assume that there are underlying issues.

  37. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Snook: Both Athlon Sports and Lindy’s Sports have Fournette rated as a top 10 RB. So there’s that.

  38. 941bucsfan Says:

    Rojo is trash trash trash

  39. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Leonard Fournette cleared waivers, per Tom Pelissero.

    He’s now a free agent!!!

  40. unbelievable Says:

    @bucfanmann – very well put about the draft capital spent..

  41. Bucsfanman Says:

    unbelievable- Yeah man, I’m kind of torn on this one. I’m not FULLY convinced that Rojo is THEE guy, but I definitely think the combo of backs would work well. You get Fournette, and you just p’ssed away 2 draft classes that should produce for you, theoretically speaking.
    And, what do you do with Shady? If we hadn’t drafted RBs in the 2nd and 3rd and we had Barber, for instance, the combo of Fournette AND Shady would be extremely appealing.
    I LOVE the big backs. Fournette would please me greatly. At what cost though? It goes beyond salary, IMO.

  42. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Potential Depth Chart @ Running Back
    1. Ronald Jones II
    2. Leonard Fournette
    3. LeSean McCoy
    4. Ke’Shawn Vaughn

    Kick Returner: Dare Ogunbowale

    Now that’s Quality Depth

  43. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Ronald Jones II & Leonard Fournette

    Smh…That’s One Helluva Combination.

    With Shady’s penchant for fumbles.
    I could easily see him cut.

  44. Buc4evr Says:

    If we don’t sign Fournette, the Saints will. Kamara is holding out and the Saints want to trade him. I have to believe they are going to try to bring Leonard back home at a cheaper price than Kamara. I don’t want to face him week one.

  45. Swampbuc Says:

    Every player cut by another team is always a Buc potential.

    Stop it!

    He won’t come for free. Brady loves Dare so he’s a Buc, period.

    Fournette? Douche. No need.

  46. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Swampbuc Says:
    March 15th, 2020 at 2:04 pm
    Fournette would be worth it for a 5th round pick.

    What changed your mind Swampbuc?

    A minute ago you were willing to trade a 5th rounder.
    Now that we’ve drafted an untested running back in the 3rd round.
    Signed a 33yr old running back that wasn’t resigned by a Super Bowl winning Team. You’ve thrown in the towel bruh? Cmon now

  47. Joe in Michigan Says:

    With the “draft capital” logic, the Bucs starting corners would be VH3 and MJ Stewart, because they were 1st and 2nd Round picks. You see what I’m saying?

  48. Bucsfanman Says:

    Joe- I don’t see how they can know what they have already. But to your point, if they do know what they have and it doesn’t meet expectations, make the move.

  49. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Bucsfanman: I see your point, but Fournette would be on another team before the Bucs figure out what they have/don’t have at RB.