If Playoff Lenny Leaves

February 16th, 2021

Pass-catching free agent RB.

The Bucs roster will look different in a few weeks. That’s because the salary cap is going to force the Super Bowl champs to make moves or non-moves.

(Yes, Joe knows both Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht and Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians vowed — using some of George Carlin’s seven dirty words for effect — that the band will stay together. Was that the Bud Light talking is reality something else?)

Well, Isaiah De Los Santos of Fan Duel decided to rank the top three veteran running backs the Bucs may choose to sign if Playoff Lenny leaves for more cash.

The No. 3 back on Santos’ list is Todd Gurley. The No. 2 back is Mark Ingram. The No. 1 potential replacement for Playoff Lenny Fournette? Adrian Peterson.

Veteran running back Adrian Peterson is showing no signs of slowing down even at almost 36 years old. AP found himself carrying the load for the Detroit Lions due to the team’s injury struggles, and he delivered with 604 yards for 7 TDs. Peterson has already stated his interest in signing with the Bucs and competing for a ring to close out his career, so Tampa could get the veteran for a discount. He’s no spring chicken, but he’s still got some juice left, and he’d be a great insurance policy in case anything happens to Jones again.

Right now, Joe thinks Peterson is just a name. Nothing more. This is 2021 not 2011.

Why not someone like Ty Montgomery who averaged 5.3 yards a carry with the slimy Saints? Or how about 24-year-old Marlon Mack? He blew out his knee in Week 1 last year after 1,000+ yards in 2019, and he should be cheap as a result.

Another name that intrigues Joe is Rex Burkhead. He played three years with Tequila Tommy in New England with decent numbers. More importantly, Burkhead can catch out of the backfield. Burkhead’s yards-per-catch last year were way down and Joe believes that may be because Cam Newton was throwing the ball, not park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking, tequila-shooting, trophy-throwing Bucs Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady.

Burkhead may be cheaper than James White.

42 Responses to “If Playoff Lenny Leaves”

  1. Big_Buc$ Says:

    Ah no to all the names listed. You have RoJo and Keyshawn. Why would you sign a running back coming off injury? To be honest Lenny wants to get paid and be the starter and to be honest RoJo doesn’t get hurt before the Wildcard game I believe RoJo has the hot hand. I’m still not over the fact that we missed out on Dalvin Cook but RoJo career was saved because he had a coaching staff that could help develop his play.

  2. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    A back that can both block and catch, as well as run, is essential for our offense.
    Brady needs that safety valve.
    Marlon Mack was running all over people, before he got hurt.

  3. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Fournette was fun during his playoff/SB run but let’s face it, he underwhelmed most of the year.
    I don’t care for players that only give extra effort when they feel like it.
    You’re paid to perform every game.

    See you Lenny, thanks for the fun.

    Durable Donnie…… I’m looking at you too.

  4. August 1976 Buc Says:

    It is just a matter of time before another Patriot player signs with the Bucs. Burkhead would be fine. Throughout the season, neither ROJO nor Lombardi Lenny caught the ball well enough where you trust them to be consistent. Fournette was a little better but not much. You know it is about Tom trusting you, that is why Rojo was not used as much as Fournette in the playoff run. They will be adding a back that has good hands. GO BUCS!!!!


    Love Burkhead and White. Burkhead is smart and is fearless. White is some what the same but more shifty. White may command more cap space but neither are going to run over linebackers like Lenny did but from a receiving aspect both are superior to all current Bucs backs.

    Burkhead and White’s numbers were down this year, Burkhead due to injury and White minor injury and death of parents. Peterson no & Gurley overrated.

  6. Robert Says:

    We need an Alstott type bulldog who can also catch. See if Lenny has a clone.

  7. Bird Says:

    Whoever it is better have hands
    Cannot have 2 stone hand rojos on field

    They have been showing almost all buc games on nfl network the past week or so. I mean rojo struggled to catch a lofted screen pass. I could make that catch 10 out of 10 times with one hand

    That is why the draft has 3 solid running backs with great hands. Since running backs have been devalued over years (look at giants running back who is a stud who cannot stay healthy ). They should be taken right around our pick…

    Alabama , clemson and NC running back would see playing time immediately…something you want with this super bowl team. Rounds 2-7 get depth. Fill any holes left in free agency non signings

  8. Big_Buc$ Says:

    If you are going to sign any former New England back to Tampa it would be James White or Deion Lewis which both are on the free agent market. So why waste money on a 36 year old back a young back under 30 with knee problems or a back coming of a season ending knee (acl tear) injury?

  9. SB~LV Says:

    Robert there is one in the draft, Harris from Alabama

  10. Buxszntkt Says:

    Amen u Dooooosh

  11. Robert Says:

    @sb….he looks to be graded very high, but he’s a bit tall and looks more like a runner. I’m talking Alstott or MJD type with tee trunks for legs and not too tall for leverage. + he’ll go too early in the draft and we need that pick at DE/OLB more.

    Looks like an all around back…but we have that if rojo could just catch the ball and bounce out of a jam if needed. never know. Rojo surprised this year. no amount of jugs machine can fix what he needs-confidence he’s catch it. He’s like that WR from the replacements movie lol

  12. Leighroy Says:

    RoJo should be given every opportunity to be “the man,” and Ke’shawn Vaughn is a nice 3rd slot on the depth chart. The Bucs need a 2nd banana, complimentary back with the 3rd down skill set – blocking and catching.

    RoJo showed he can be highly effective 1st and 2nd down but can’t catch a cold (too soon?). Maybe KV can grow into that 3rd down role in the off-season but he hasn’t proven it yet.

    So a cheap FA, maybe a Boston guy fits the bill, not any of these “names” who are just runners either. I also don’t believe premium draft Capitol should be used to find said RB.

  13. lambeau Says:

    Burkhead and White both play for $3 M/yr; Burkhead had just under 100 targets from Brady over 3 seasons while White had ~100/year for five seasons–I suspect Brady will recommend White. There will be a need for a bigger back like AP to rotate with RoJo replacing Lenny–Vaughn has showed nothing. Do we draft one?

  14. doolnutts Says:

    A top priority even if Fournette stays will need to be a pass catching back. If people thought Brady was great this year wait until they see him with a back that can catch the ball. It is a HUGE piece of his game that I think we were not able to fully capitalize on with all the drops in the backfield. I think James White or Burkhead would be outstanding additions because they have Brady’s trust. People need to start understanding its Brady’s show until he retires. He wanted AB we went out and got AB. He wanted Gronk we got Gronk. Our front office and coaches are smart we are doing everything we can to support Brady. All egos have left the building.

    For those arguing youth movements as a pass catching back like Vaughn or a rookie remember this. Younger RB’s typically struggle in Pass Pro there is almost NO chance we draft a kid and say get out there on 3rd down and block for Brady. Rojo will handle first and second down just fine. Vaughn will do well for us but we can’t go into the season with just him and Rojo as the RB! & 2. Too risky with Vaughns mistakes.

  15. PassingThru Says:

    I’ll miss Fournette, I just don’t think we can afford to keep him.

    Fournette was a gift this season, but he’s young and most likely in search of that big contract that will set him up for life. He can be replaced. RoJo is very good, he’s a first and second down RB. For third and long, sign James White. His legs are fine after being underused in New England after Brady left. Excellent in pass protection, and unlike Fournette or RoJo, he’s not going to drop passes. What you will miss with Fournette is that he’s the better third and short back. Draft or sign a FB-type runner who bulldozes his way to one or two yards. Those guys don’t require much cap money or draft capital.

    But if you really want to improve the running attack, draft Quinn Meinerz in the third round. He’s a human wrecking ball, a real threat to take Cappa or Jensen’s place in the starting OL. Just look at the Senior Bowl tape when he destroys probable Day One and Day Two picks. He has the bend, strength and use of leverage to be elite. He’ll create holes for the running game.

  16. PardonTI Says:

    Nice, consistent addition of “tequila” to your Brady monikers, Joe. Without people like you continuing to disrespect TB12, he probably would have retired years ago. Re: Brady, who needs enemies when you have friends like you within your own fanbase? The fact that you let commenter “Brady is a Cheater” continually post, while banning and editing people who criticize you for being disrespectful to Brady, speaks volumes about your true sentiments for a man who has done so much for this franchise. Of course, TB12 doesn’t seem to like “Father Dungy” that much so maybe that’s why you have such a boner for him.

  17. Bobby M. Says:

    Less is more when it comes to that position in this offense. Brady opens up the offense so much that a back with lesser running ability could still thrive if they can catch.

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    Give Jones & Vaughn an actual off-season and see what they can do with Brady.

    I do like the Burkhead suggestion.

    Whoever the third guy is, gotta play ST’s also, and come fairly cheap.

  19. geno711 Says:

    If playoff Lenny leaves, I could see it being David Johnson.

    Obviously there were rumors last year that the Bucs were interested. Instead DJ went to Houston in what was considered one of the worst trades ever.

    The new regime at Houston will have no ties to David Johnson and especially if they trade D Watson, they will be going full youth movement.

    Johnson would not be in long term plans for Houston especially after he had his worst year ever (besides the injury year). Johnson has made his money and would not able to get a huge contract anywhere if Houston cuts him.

    Now, I have not watched him enough last year to say whether he has really declined a lot or not. However, he seems like he is a better choice than McCoy was at the beginning of last year for the Bucs and could be a solid option for catching the ball out of the backfield.

    How about a 1 million contract with incentives to double it based upon carries, receptions, etc. He gets to chase a Super Bowl with a team and then hope he gets the same type of playoff Lenny revival.

    Chance of this happening maybe 15 – 20%???

  20. SKBucsfan Says:

    The Bucs have two good backs already. If blocking is a concern then sign a big back that can block. There is no need to waste a pick drafting one.

  21. FlBoy84 Says:

    Have mentioned liking Burkhead previously, think he would be a low-cost, solid addition. #1 FA choice though would be Mike Davis, if Car is crazy enough to let him test the market. Would be as good of a compliment to Rojo as he was to McCaffrey, finishing #4 in RB receptions (59) last year.

  22. Bradinator Says:

    The only problem with Burkhead is that he is hurt all the time. I like him, availability is an issue. Ty Montgomery is intriguing, so is Marlon Mack (also seems to be hurt a lot), no thanks to any of the retread guys like Peterson (he’s shot), Ingram, and Gurley (no heart I believe.).

  23. JimmyJack Says:

    I like the idea of signing somebody cheap on one year to let them revive their career. Just like Fournette and Brown did this year.

    Not sure who is this years Fournette for RBs. Usually guys who fit that bill sign later as they visit and see if theres a buyer out there……So Im not expecting to to jump on a RB after Free agency starts. Let teams overpay then we can get somebody at discount. Every year theres quality RBs avialable late in FA

  24. SlyPirate Says:

    The backup RB is already on the team … Ke’Shawn Vaughn

    Yes, he had one untimely fumble but: 1) He was a rookie, and 2) He’s a beast.

    He ran harder than Rojo ever did as a rookie. I like this kid a lot and he’ll be better next year.


    Of course everyone loves ROJO but he has Hands of Stone, Brady knows it, would never trust him on big third downs….

  26. Brandon Says:

    It would be foolish to think that Rojo won’t come back way better and nuanced in the passing game with a full off-season with Brady. He’s improved leaps and bounds every off-season so why would this be any different? He’ll be 24 this upcoming season. Vaughn can very likely be a guy we can lean on as well as low priced vet or rookie. RB just isn’t a wise position to put a lot of money into. Rojo is a major stud when he gets carries and will only improve in the passing game.

    Don’t forget… Cadillac Williams couldn’t catch to save his life when he entered the league and by the time he left he was our 3rd down RB. Rojo will be okay. Time to draft another RB for depth and eventual competition as well as to push Vaughn. Maybe a cheap vet to round out the group but we don’t need Fournette. The o-line deserves most of the credit.

  27. Stanglassman Says:

    If they can’t get James White get Mike Davis. You bring in the 35 year old back if and only if injuries accumulate at RB going into the season.

  28. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    No to AP. He can’t catch. We already have that in spades. Id like to see James White and Rex Burkhead. People who are reliable as runners, pass blockers and receivers and know Brady.

  29. 813bucboi Says:


    draft and develop…

    GO BUCS!!!!

  30. Oxycondoms Says:

    2 good backs isnt enough for a whole season.

  31. Miller5252 Says:

    Only way Lenny comes back is if he’s on the cheap again. Arians doesn’t pay for backs and knows he can find another to compliment Rojo of Vaughn can’t.

  32. G-FUNK Says:

    Fournette showed an ability to run, pass protect and be an outlet receiving in the pressure packed moments. To put someone in the backfield with lesser skills in any of these areas is to reduce the effectiveness of an offense whose identity became more play action oriented as they hit their stride.

  33. unbelievable Says:

    haha tommy tequila!

  34. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Mark Ingram was phased out of Ravens offense because of Dobbins’ play but he may still have some juice to go with RoJo and Vaughn

  35. Mike C Says:

    Or Tequila Tommy? Idk both are good lol!

  36. OH_Buc's_Fan_17 Says:

    Being a Michigan Fan & having seen first hand hiw well the kid can play, not to mention his receiver like skill set, I say we draft Chris Evan’s outta UM, in the 4th or 5th round. His numbers were really good aas a true freshman. He then missed a year for academic reasons, followed by this past year with underwhelming numbers do to a log jam at rb, as well as the Covid shortened season.
    If you aren’t familiar with him, I encourage you to look up some highlights of his at Michigan, would love for you guy’s to check out some of his film & tell me your thoughts & opinion’s on em.

  37. BuccoDav Says:

    I like the Tommy Tequila moniker…
    We don’t need anyone to “tote the rock”, we have RoJo for that. RoJo’s catch percentage was not as bad as some would lead on. That may be something Brady and RoJo can work on this offseason…

  38. Rod Munch Says:

    The Bucs have a #1 RB in Rojo, they just need someone who can catch the ball.

    Marlon Mack didn’t catch a bunch of passes in Indy, but at USF I always thought he did a really good job with receptions. So it might have just been a scheme issue in Indy since they had their dedicated pass catching back in Himes. Mack could easily be a #1 in this offense. If he’s healthy and ready to go, this would be an excellent pickup if he’s cheap since I think he can play the top role, and the 3rd down role if needed (although it’s not his natural position, but it wasn’t Fournette’s position either).

    Burkhead would be 31 before next season begins and hasn’t done much of anything in years. On the plus side he was never a heavily used back so he might still have legs, even past 30. But to me, he’d be deep down on the list.

    James White is still just 29, and caught 49 passes last year. Also he’s a guy you could trust in pass protection, he would make total sense.

    Mike Davis would be a really interesting guy. He caught 59 passes last year and, at times, looked really good in replacing CMC. I assume he’s going to get more money than the Bucs would want to pay, but as far as 3rd down backs go, he’d be at the top of my list. Also he’s just turning 28, so he should be OK for a year or two.

    Le’Veon Bell will be 29, and is probably washed up, but I’d certainly give his tape a full inspection. He’s a proven pass catcher and I think he’s good enough in terms of pass blocking. Guys like this can often get one last burst of a season, and it wouldn’t shock me if he still had something left in the tank. He’d likely be cheap, and probably only a 1-year deal. He’s not at the top of my list, but if he looks better on tape than I think, then he’d certainly be worth taking a flyer on.

  39. Buc4evr Says:

    We need to focus on keeping Goodwin, AB, Gronk, Succop and our all our guys on defense. We can always find a veteran RB who can catch. Not worried if SB Lenny decides to go elsewhere.

  40. DaBux Says:

    Burkhead with Mack is nothing but upside.

  41. Mike pizzoli Says:

    Love burkhead or white, burkhead can carry the ball just as well as he catches it and runs routes plus his blitz pickup is very good

  42. View from 132 Says:

    RoJo and Vaughn… good start. There will always be available RBs if you can run block.