Bruce Arians Is Clear: I Want Leonard Fournette To Return

January 25th, 2022

There was no wavering in words or tone.

Bucco Bruce Arians is sure he wants at least one of his free agents to return (no, Tom Brady is not a free agent).

Arians has swiped right on Leonard “Playoff Lenny” Fournette.

Did you know Playoff Lenny’s nine career postseason rushing touchdowns are tied with Hall of Fame playoff heroes Jerome Bettis, Larry Csonka and Tony Dorsett?

It’s true. Playoff Lenny has proven to be a crunch-time running back who can run and block and catch, even hauling in all nine of his targets Sunday in the groin-stomp loss to the Rams.

“Watching him in practice, he was going to be back to Playoff Lenny,” Arians told the Buccaneers Radio Network yesterday. “He played a whale of a ballgame. …  I think he has a great future. I hope it’s here.”

Fournette turned 27 years old last week. He’s in his prime and coming off an impressive regular season with 812 yards rushing and 59 receptions with 10 combined touchdowns for a team that doesn’t run the ball much.

Joe agrees with Arians. Re-sign this man!

35 Responses to “Bruce Arians Is Clear: I Want Leonard Fournette To Return”

  1. Ed Says:

    I don’t disagree that Fournette has been exceptional. What I do see is that as a position, running back isn’t as important as having stud tight ends and more depth on defensive and offensive lines.

    The Bucs don’t run the ball enough to pay big money to running backs. If they would run the ball 25-30 times a game then yes, Fournette can do that and would be worth being a franchise back. But look at the teams remaining in the playoffs.

    Neither Kansas City, Niners, Rams or Ravens have any backs you would consider franchise players so I think the team has to have more depth on both sides of the lines and upgrade the tight end position. Take the salaries of Brate and Howard together and you buy a free agent tight end for half their price. If Gronk was 5 years younger, the Bucs have their franchise tight end but he’s near the end of the line. How important were Kelsey and Kittle to the moving the chains. Bucs couldn’t move the chains and play keepaway from Rams or Saints because they couldn’t block them.

    I say upgrade the lines vs spending money on expensive running backs.

  2. David Says:

    I think these players are a must-

  3. David Says:

    I wanted to add but I completely agree it all depends on how much he’s asking.

  4. Marine Buc Says:

    I want Fournette back too but he will have to give us a team friendly deal. We cannot pay him $8-$10 million per year.

    Maybe $4.5 million salary with another $2.5 million in incentives…

  5. D-Rome Says:

    I was just talking about in another story all the free agents the Bucs are going to have heading into the season. Bucs can’t sign them all. They need WR, TE (3), DE (2), C, RB (3), OL, CB, S. If they’re serious about winning next year then they have to pay Fournette. Only one RB in the NFL that’s an unrestricted free agent scored more rushing TDs and that’s James Connor. The only UFA RB that had more receiving yards is Cordarelle Patterson.

    Bucs must pay for Fournette. It’s that simple. If they don’t pay him then they’re not serious about winning because every RB Jason Licht has drafted has been a failure.

  6. adam from ny Says:

    you might want to bring in a vet a cb and let davis walk…

    dean is developing and if smb can be coached up, there 2…draft another and smartly pick up just the right veteran cb for cheap – like a steal type guy like AB was in his first year…

    just a thought…

    also i would try to keep the entire crew of 4 safetys…all the way down to adams…good group

  7. adam from ny Says:

    pay lenny…

    also no lenny = no tommy

  8. adam from ny Says:

    if arians truly believes that sneak vaughn is a feature back, then he should be dismissed as head coach…

    i’m going to assume he was just talking yang to the press

  9. Christos Says:

    Honestly i dont know what to think when i hear some things from Coach BA. I believed the best way to slow down the Rams Defense was to be physical and run the ball. I knew our Bucs wont run the ball 35 times but i was hoping close to 25 at least. The Rams bad games were when the other team run at them. We started with 2 runs for 11 and 10 yards and i say yes here we go……And then Lenny had 4 carries for the rest of the half with Brady being pressured almost every dropback. Bernard had a really good game vs the Eagles and was nowhere to be seen. And now i hear this “Watching him in practice, he was going to be back to Playoff Lenny,”. So after seeing Fournette has a great practice the coaches decided to give him 6 carries in the half. Like we havent seen this play before when we abandon the running game with Saints and Rams in previous games. I know the team had injuries and i know that some young players regressed but Coaching, gameplan and missmanaging the players was suspect most of the year. Miller had a solid game and even Brady missed him a couple times although he was open and he was never on the field all year even with so many injuries at WR. So many things that i dont get about this year. Anyway hopefully Brady will be back for one last dance.

  10. Buc4evr Says:

    Bruce while you are at it get rid of Bowles and Leftwich. Get a decent veteran CB or two and a new DE/LB.

  11. Kalind Says:

    I don’t see us having the money for him. Godwin Jensen and Davis are gonna eat up almost every available dime.

  12. Bobby M. Says:

    I think a tag and trade scenario is possible for Godwin. He’s a legit #1…great locker room guy…would be excellent for a team with a young QB. Jets and Philly come to mind, they have multiple picks, don’t need a QB and need an immediate starter.

  13. BBro Says:

    I’d like for him to come back too and after his previous experience in the nfl I’m sure he’d also like to stay. Sign him up.

  14. Rick Says:

    This all depends on if Tom Brady retires… if he does why would you sign a 27 year old running back? We are going to need to turn one of our free agents into draft capital because right now the math doesn’t add up. I see our biggest need as a game changing defensive lineman. We have a good front 7 but it still seems like we don’t have all of the horses to properly run our 3-4 defense. That could change if Bowles leaves and we go back to a 4-3. Followed up by a speedy #3 wide receiver and cornerback.

  15. tampabayallday Says:

    Good for Lenn, sad the coaching staff abandoned the run in the first half.

  16. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Don’t overpay because good running backs are usually readily available. Otherwise, sure.

  17. Bobby M. Says:

    Just to add…..Godwin is excellent but his physical style as a receiver has been plagued with injuries every year. I just dont think you can pay a WR $20 million in cap space and keep everyone else…..I believe someone will though. Trade Godwin for a 1st rd pick, let Brady recruit a vet or two and literally keep everyone else. Leftwich lands in Jacksonville, you can bet he would love to bring Godwin to help develop Lawrence. I wont be shocked if Rojo and OJ follow as well.

  18. Listnfrmafar Says:

    It will be interesting how Lenny works with another QB. He was heavy in the passing game which got him into the open field where he is most dangerous. If Wilson stays I could see Seattle picking him up, Bill’s, Jets, Miami or any NFC South team. He’s not taking a home town discount, been there done that.

  19. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Bobby M

    We can’t trade Godwin. He is a free agent.

    I agree if BL leaves for Jacksonville (who has a ton of cap space) we may see several Bucs go with him… The Jags have the second most cap space in the NFL.

  20. Ash Says:

    Personally I’d let him walk other areas of higher importance that need to be retained or upgraded and a little amount of money to deal with it and rb is just not as important in a pass heavy offense

  21. Hodad Says:

    No other club is going to throw big money at Lenny. Remember RB’s don’t usually get a big contract extension’s at 27 years of age. Those are dog years to an NFL RB. Lenny should be the easiest player to bring back.

  22. Listnfrmafar Says:

    BL may take Lenny to reunite in Jacksonville.

  23. zzbucs Says:

    We all want Lenny CG and Jensen,,,,we love them all, not sure if it will be possible, I see also Suh on that list aldo cappa, JPP probably not……But the thing is if I am not wrong there is not big money for all of them….And to be honest I can live perfectly well without Lenny…again I would love to have him….Butnot if we have to mortgage the entire cap…..

  24. Bucsfanman Says:

    I agree with D-Rome above. If they’re seriously trying to contend they MUST sign Lenny.
    The Bucs are a different team when Lenny’s on the field. Vaughn showed some nice things and may be a possible back-up. I won’t even mention the other sideline-stepping, scared to get hit, headcase of a RB!

  25. Bobby M. Says:

    @Marine….we can tag Godwin again, then facilitate a trade.

  26. Bobby M. Says:

    As for Lenny…..I’d rather have him over Suh. I think Gholston/Roches can fill that void fine. I’d like to have JPP back if healthy IF he’ll do year to year deals similar to what Suh was getting. JPP can fill in along the line if a guy goes down while still grooming JTS. With Suh, AB, Howard, Rojo, Sherman off the books….we free up $18-20 million. I think JPP comes in a few million less per year then his current salary. We drafted Trask high… this stage the next step for him is back up QB. Letting Gabbert go saves us a few million….I could see him head to Jacksonville with Lefty to help groom Lawrence. Brate is another one probably on the way out OR at least cheaper.

  27. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Bobby M

    Highly unlikely.

    You should take a look at either Sportrac or Over the cap dot com.

    We currently have @ $19 million in cap space and that includes the raise in cap to @ $209 million.

    Suh, Sherman, Rojo, AB, Howard are alreaday off the books.

    We have 28 free agents – 12 of which are starters.

    The Bucs can always restructure a few contracts and I’m sure they will but this will still only afford us another $10-$12 million tops.

  28. lambchop Says:

    @Marine Buc,

    Which player after winning a SB will want to go to the Jags? They might steal 1 guy, that’s about it. Most of these dudes see what it’s like to win after so many years of losing. They’d want to go back to losing in a worse situation?

    The Jags have minimum leverage. Location sucks, team sucks.

  29. Swampbuc Says:

    He and Godwin. Musts.

    Jensen a must.

    Whatever on the rest.

  30. captivajim Says:

    Lenny played really well all season . he markedly improved his catching..He’s definitely a keeper..

    hopefully we’ll have a smarter OC next season who will utilize him more..

  31. Alstott up the gut Says:

    Swampbuc took the words right out of my mouth. Godwin and Fournette! These two guys must be retained on multi-year deals!

  32. steele Says:

    I strongly disagree with Bucco. Lenny should not be a priority. It’s possible to find a better, more explosive, more reliable feature back in both the draft and free agency, in most offseasons. Lenny, RoJo both have limitations and consistency issues, Vaughn is promising, but need a better RB and a bolstered O line to play smashmouth.

    The 49ers consistently field excellent running attacks because that is a Shanahan family tradition going back to the Broncos and Terrell Davis. They know how to find and maximize RB talent, even if no-name. Mostert, Mitchell etc.

  33. Rzone13 Says:

    I like Lenny and Godwin and Jensen back

  34. captivajim Says:

    If Brady dosen’t come back ;Godwin, Fournette will sign elsewhere

  35. THOMAS PFALZ Says:

    I believe most of the signings will depend on Brady. If he comes back I think he will definitely want Gronk & Jensen back for sure. Maybe he’ll want Godwin & Fournette as well. Should be an interesting off season.