Low Mileage On James White

March 17th, 2021

Through four NFL seasons, Leonard “Playoff Lenny” Fournette has 1,092 touches.

It’s a workhorse number, especially for a guy who has missed his share of games with injuries.

Patriots free agent running back James White, three years older than Fournette at 29, has a grand total of 773 NFL touches. Both had about the same workload in college.

Of course, it’s widely speculated that the Bucs are pursuing the former Patriots Super Bowl hero rather than their own Super Bowl hero.

It’s interesting to Joe that White has so much less mileage on his body than Fournette. If the Bucs want to sign either guy, they likely will need to cough up two seasons of guaranteed money. And while the Bucs are all-in for 2022, the future is still a consideration and Fournette wouldn’t be the first running back to decline once he hit the 1,000-touches mark (See Doug Martin.)

So why is White being let go by New England after the seven seasons — while the Pats are sniffing Fournette at the same time? Great question.

Joe thinks it mostly is about Cam Newton being back at quarterback, where he’s an absolute third-d0wn machine. Newton rushed for 55 first downs last season, nearly all on third down; White is a third-down back. Fournette, of course, is a three-down back.

Joe would prefer a Playoff Lenny return, but White certainly is a sound fit in Tampa.

51 Responses to “Low Mileage On James White”

  1. Mitch Says:

    Garafolo said about 15 minutes ago that the bucs are still in active negotiations with Leonard Fournette, and that the hold up is that the market for RBs was smaller than Leonard, Chris Carson, and others thought it would be.


    Fournett is playoff and SB Lenny, whereas White is PO, SB James multiple times. I’ll take low milage White any day and especially twice on Sundays. Very consistent unlike Lenny. Sorry Joe you’re wrong on this one.

  3. mark2001 Says:

    Agree..keep the fellowship in the quest for the SB ring 56 together, if possible. But if Fournette chooses to leave, good luck to him, and sign White in a heartbeat.

  4. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    It seems like ROJO has been forgotten in all this ?
    Fournette may decide to go to Seattle, a run first team that has been pursuing him.
    Lenny has already said that he does not want to share the rock, and up in Seattle, he wouldn’t have to.

  5. 813bucboi Says:

    bring back Lenny!!!

    ride rojo!!!

    develop vaughn!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!

  6. Bird Says:

    James white

    2016 – 60 catches for 551 yards and 5 rec tds////. 166 rush yards for 0 td
    2017 – 56 catches for 429 yards and 3 rec tds////. 171 rush yards for 0 td
    2018 – 87 catches for 751 yards and 7 rec tds//// 425 rush yards for 5 td
    2019 – 72 catches for 645 yards and 5 rec tds////. 263 rush yards for 1 td

    Those catch totals and receiving td totals are better then most wide receivers. He is just doing it out of backfield to get a first down and move the chains


    Now look at cam newton crap year where he is no brady. Not even close

    2020 – 49 catches for 375 yards and 1 rec td////. 121 rush yards for 2 td


    Dont get me wrong. I love playoff lenny. Not so much regular season lenny. But where bucs struggled is catching balls out of backfield which brady does so well and moves the chains. Its a brady hallmark. I would demand white if i am brady. He could be had in 2-3 mil range for sure. Shoot lesean mccoy played for 1 mil plus and did he have like 15 touches on the year

  7. Anonymous Says:

    I would love to have Fournette again, having RoJo and Fournette is BIG too many injuries happen at that position. They will both get playing time.

  8. Swampbuc Says:

    A low mileage lemon is still a lemon. His low number of touches is due to him sucking at running the football. And he’s a running back. No, no, no.


  9. Elita Vita Says:

    Fournette vs White: “The debate who wears 28”!

  10. lambeau Says:

    I don’t see White competing with Lenny–White is pure pass-catcher and Lenny pounds the rock. It’s hard to imagine them relying on third-down Lenny with all his drops.

  11. AMI_Chris Says:

    I hope Lombardi Lenny realizes that maybe he was so effective because he did NOT have to be a workhorse in the offense. As long as the Bucs are competitive with $$$, he should consider making good (if not great) money to be a stud on a fantastic offense that doesn’t need him to carry the ball 300 times this year.

  12. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Over the past year, I’ve seen people criticize the following:

    Tom Brady isn’t mobile enough.
    Scotty Miller isn’t a good blocker.
    Mike Evans doesn’t have enough YAC.
    Vita Vea doesn’t get enough sacks.
    Devon White was a wasted pick because he can’t cover.

    James White is a role player who catches the ball well. I’m guessing the Bucs would’ve won 2 extra games last year, if they had someone like White. Think of all of the drives stalled because the Bucs RB’s couldn’t catch the ball. So no, James White is not a “lemon”.

  13. Couch Fan Says:

    We know what this offense looks like under Fournette. Pretty darn good. White would be an unknown. This time I’d go with the known. C’mon back Lenny!!

  14. westernbuc Says:

    I saw somewhere that Seattle was interested in Lenny as well. Both of those teams are super run oriented, and James White is a solid number two. If Lenny wants to be The Guy he’s going somewhere else

  15. 6throundpick Says:

    White is outstanding. Great receiver; excellent runner. He’s solid.

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Low mileage = Runs for nothing yardage.

    He’s not even worth acquiring to be honest.

  17. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Couch Fan: There is a known connection/familiarity with White and Brady. They won 3 Super Bowls together.

    I’m okay with the Bucs re-signing Fournette, but if he leaves I’m not gonna lose any sleep.

  18. Bird Says:


    Ummm. He is a third down receiving back that can pass protect
    Kinda what brady craves
    No one claimed he was your rb1 starter

  19. 74 Bucs fan Says:

    What?? White is not worth acquiring, can’t run the ball, is an unknown? Seriously? Ummm… I will trust Tom Brady’s opinion over all of the “experts” posting here. Give me a freakin break!

  20. PassingThru Says:

    James White would be a great get. He’s a quality receiving threat unlike anyone else in the Buc backfield. Great hands, smart routes, shifty runner after the catch, and excellent at pass protection. You don’t use him to run between the tackles unless it’s to keep defenses honest.

    He’s a third down back that’s a great compliment to either Fournette, RoJo or both. And yes, the mileage is low as that New England offense was a constipated mess last season.

  21. Joe in Michigan Says:

    One other thing to consider…James White wouldn’t pout if the Bucs drafted Etienne, Najee, or Javonte. Fournette might.

  22. Baby Grace Says:

    I’m sure many will disagree with this, but Fournette was cut for a reason. The reason he was cut is because he is not a really good RB. Rojo is a better pure runner, but doesn’t catch well. Fournette catches a little better, but not much better. Sign White over Fournette any day.

  23. NewEnglanderinFlorida Says:

    Just watch the Patriots Falcons SB where White was key in the 28-3 comeback. Love Fournette. My wife went to LSU. But if Brady is the QB then White is just another known commodity

  24. Topdoggie Says:

    Ummm I think everyone is missing the point. They are after White to take McCoys spot. If the can get decent agreements we will have both. Rojo and Leonard will pound. White will be third down and our rookie from last year will fill in for whichever is hurt at the time. Then we don’t have to use a premium pick on a back. Best available player or trade out of 32 and or 64.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    @Joe with the way teams have a RB stable would it even be possible to have Rojo, Fournette, Vaughn and White? Rojo and Vaughn are still on rookie deals Fournette wouldn’t be a workhorse here and should realize that’s the reason he had so much juice left in the tank during the playoffs. White could be the third down specialist and maybe our return man since we’ve never had one (I’m not sure if he has ever returned kick offs or punts) I’m just wondering if it would be at all possible to have all of them. I think Vaughn will be good in time but the kid had a bit of a fumbling issue so I’m not trusting him yet.

  26. Joe Says:

    @Joe with the way teams have a RB stable would it even be possible to have Rojo, Fournette, Vaughn and White?

    Possible? Sure. Anything is possible. But remember: Possible does not mean likely. It’s possible Joe could find a Hooters Calendar girl in his bed. It is not likely that would ever happen.

    Joe is not sweating the running back situation. RoJo proved last year he is capable. If Playoff Lenny wants to stay, great. “This Joe” doesn’t give a whip about James White.

  27. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Of course the Bucs don’t have to draft a RB at 32, but what if one of them is the highest guy on their board? Etienne, Harris, and Williams are all talented 3-down backs, IMHO.

  28. Snook Says:

    Lenny and White aren’t comparable. Lenny is 3 down back. White is a 3rd down back. Thus the low mileage.

  29. firethecannons Says:

    Seems to me james White would be signed to replace Shady Mccoy draft pick to replace Fournette and Keshawn Vaughn to sit the bench on the practice squad

  30. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Snook: If Lenny plays like he did in the playoffs, you’re correct. If he plays like he did in the regular season (at times), he’s not what you want as a receiver.

  31. JimmyJack Says:

    I love the idea of getting White. Last year i went back and watched some of his highlights just to get a feel for how Brady likes to use his backs and this guy is a bonefided threat as a pass catcher.

    Finding a RB that can run routes and catch sonewhere clise to what White can do would be huge. It would add a new dynamic to our already potent offense. It would be a very exciting move!!!

  32. JimmyJack Says:

    The problem with White is if you get him you really dont have a backup for RoJo. Joe, is Doug Martin avialable. Perfect fit.

  33. lowercaseg Says:

    I would like James white or a rookie RB. Rojo just can’t catch consistently.

  34. GOATWatcher Says:

    White is a sure-handed clutch player. He is Danny Amendola in the backfield, someone Brady, and Patriot fans, trust. Nothing but good things will happen if he comes to Tampa Bay.

  35. Swampbuc Says:

    Those of you who are aroused by James White —

    Dude has 1240 yards rushing in his CAREER. Averages 180 per season.

    Dude has 10 touchdowns. TOTAL.

    Not a red zone threat. If he is in the game, 95% chance it’s a pass. But don’t mind me, see who Tom Brady prefers…..Lenny.

    Now as some have observed, if JWhite s coming in to replace Shady while keeping Lenny I’d be happy as a beardless clam.

  36. D-Rok Says:

    How many times this last year did we have a RB on the Bucs motion out to a WR position? White brings excellent receiving skills, average ball-running skills, as well as the ability to line up in 5-wide sets to completely overwhelm defenses. White was a great piece for NE and Brady knew how to use him. I’d love to see him added to Bucs as he would fill that matchup role Brady loves: check-down swing passes and wheel-routes while being covered by slow LB’s. Let McCoy go and sign White. Bucs will be unstoppable.

  37. D-Rok Says:

    Imagine how flustered defenses would be to have Lenny and White in 2-back on 3rd down! Who will line up wide in motion? Who will stay in and block? Who will release to the flat? Who will get the draw run? I think ROJO, White, and Lenny as a 3-back rotation would be nearly unstoppable, given how much defenses will worry about ME, CG, Gronk, AB – then add in the specter of a draw, a swing pass, or even both backs stay in to chip DE’s? Invaluable flexibility that would be, I’ll say it again, unstoppable.

  38. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Swampbuc: You failed to mention White has 25 receiving TD’s, 35 total TD’s. Of course he’s the 3rd down back, the role that Shady had, if the Bucs sign him.

  39. Jb kickback Says:

    I love White, but he got so predictable after a while
    His forte’ is NOT BETWEEN TACKLES.
    He’s an passing back with great hands and instincts

    The problem when comparing the two is that you knew White was goin to be thrown to when he was in the backfield so play action (which Brady loves) stopped working when white was there and teams started to key in on that and he lost his affectiveness

  40. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Jb kickback: With all of the weapons the Bucs have, do you think White would have a decent defender on him? If he does, Brady can throw it to (insert name of very good Bucs WR or TE here). Ronald Jones, Fournette, and Vaughn were open and would’ve had decent gains last year, if they could’ve caught the ball regularly.

  41. Swampbuc Says:

    Joe in Mich — if he’s the replacement for Shady it’s an upgrade.

    He’s not a replacement for Lenny. Not at all. With Lenny in on 3rd down, and our OL, Lenny could pick up a 3rd and 4 if they are playing the pass, so they have to respect the run. Not so with White.

    But on a 3rd and 9, it’s a pass anyway, and JWhite might pick it up on a checkdown. So could and did Lenny, just not as adept at catching some of Brady’s half spastic passes.

  42. Joe in Michigan Says:

    My point was that although somewhat predictable, the Bucs offense would be much better with a check down guy who has reliable hands. I wouldn’t say White is awful running the ball, I think he’s better at rushing than Rojo is at receiving.
    If the Bucs re-sign Fournette, then we’ll see if they get playoff Lenny or regular season Lenny. If he chooses to sign elsewhere, maybe the Bucs would look into Marlon Mack, if healthy. If not, we’ll see who they can get in the draft.

  43. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Succop is back!!!!!

  44. Dave g Says:

    Don’t be surprised to see both of them in Tampa rojo the #1 lenny to spell him when winded or if he gets hot whites third down back that can pick up the blitz keep brady clean and catch the rock when needed

  45. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I missed that Marlon Mack re-signed with the Colts. He only got a 1 year, $2 million deal.

  46. Winston Says:

    White is also a good citizen and positive force in a locker room.

  47. TB12DieHard Says:

    I am not a lifelong Bucs fan. But my entire memory is of Brady and the Patriots. I know them inside and out. White is the overall best running back Brady has had. Dont @ me. He may not bring lots of yards on the ground, but the Pat’s didn’t need him to. See Blount and Michele. He is an excellent leader and locker room presence. Very smart, cerebral player, who excells with yards after the catch on screens. And most importantly has the trust and report with the greatest QB of all time. It’s a no brainer. Nothing against Lenny, but RBs behind a good line will put up good numbers overall. I say roll with ROJO, give Vaughn more touches, and sign White to give Brady his out on plays he didn’t have last year.

  48. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Your homework assignment for the weekend…Go to YouTube, watch “James White – Every Touch – 2019 New England Patriots NFL Season”. Watch the chemistry between Tom Brady and James White. Excellent receiver, and better runner than you think.

  49. Sumosam Says:

    Bring back Leonard. He’s a great back and we won’t get another one like him.

  50. johnny o Says:

    believe me kids, james white is a quality back. rojo will pound it on 1st and 2nd down, james is as reliable as you get on 3rd down. tommy wants his binky if he’s available.

  51. MarkR Says:

    I agree with Joe in Michigan. JWhite is the quintessential 3rd down back Pure receiver with excellent hands and a wizard at breaking down defenses. With the receivers we have he’ll open up our passing game significantly. In contrast Rojo has poor hands and is not usable as a third down back. Without Lenny (who himself has average hands) we would be deficient on the all important 3rd downs unless we get White.
    And, for what its worth, White is a competent, consistent runner – averages over 4 yds per carry, only two lost fumbles in his 6 full seasons and 4.57 combine speed.