Leonard Fournette Is An Outlier

February 15th, 2023

Worth the coin.

With the Bucs now getting squeezed badly by the salary cap, here is an interesting peek into roster management.

Marcus Mosher of the PFF Tribe decided to list the salaries of the top rushers for the winning team in each Super Bowl since 2009. On Sunday night, “Ferdie” Pacheco led the Chiefs in rushing and he makes less than $900,000.

So what does this have to do with Playoff Lenny? Well, Playoff Lenny is one of three running backs earning $2 million or more since 2009 who led the winning team in the Super Bowl in rushing. (Playoff Lenny earned about $7 million last season.)

Joe is guessing the moral to Mosher’s Twitter post is that it is better to spend cash on a lineman, defensive or offensive, then it is a running back.

This may be true, but one of Joe’s enduring memories of when the Bucs beat the Chiefs in the Super Bowl was when the Bucs called for a Playoff Lenny run to the right and used Ali Marpet as a pulling guard. He was one of the lead blockers around the right side along with Tristan Wirfs.

It was midway through the third quarter and when Playoff Lenny turned the corner, Marpet and Wirfs were stomping ahead of Playoff Lenny. You could just see Chiefs defenders pulling up. They wanted nothing to do with those three, Marpet, Wirfs and Playoff Lenny.

The game was over right there. The Chiefs defense was waving the white flag. No mas!

Was Playoff Lenny overpaid? Hell no! But Joe gets Mosher’s point. More often than not a solid running will come up large in big games, and he won’t break the bank.

31 Responses to “Leonard Fournette Is An Outlier”

  1. HC Grover Says:

    Bye Bye Lenny.

  2. Darin Says:

    To play a game. Great job if you can get it

  3. BucsfanFred Says:

    Lenny is pretty good, but not 7 million dollars good.
    Running backs just don’t last long enough to earn a big second contract and even if they do they’re nearing the end of their career anyway. Just draft another one.

  4. SB~LV Says:

    Lenny only runs hard when he feels like it.
    Oh !
    Trade any player who can bring a fair draft pick or young player, think baseball,
    Glazer’s sell the team!
    Fire the GM and the “coaching staff “

  5. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Lenny needs to be let go and then go sign with the Eagles or Bills who need a battering ram like him, Lenny was a great addition to the bucs desiring his Super Bowl time and was Tahnny’ s security blanket last year

  6. BucsfanFred Says:

    Look at Dallas. Zeke makes like 16 mil a year but Pollard is a better back at about one mil.

  7. jerseybuc Says:

    Reminds me of when we let Blount go. He had a resurgence elsewhere in the right environment. Time for us to get younger, and faster. RB’s are to be found all throughout the draft. Need someone to pair with White. Desperately need to find a speed receiver as well but focus most probably will be on the secondary considering the mass exodus expected.

  8. David Says:

    Thank you but time for him to go. White has definitely shown enough to be the guy.

  9. geno711 Says:

    This is interesting also for all the guys through the years pushing Derrick Henry or Dalvin Cook.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Every Buc player playing for Bowles is overpaid……

  11. Alexandre Nascimento Says:

    But Lennie was NOT the Bucs leading rusher in 2020….

  12. Alanbucsfan Says:

    KC won the SB vs Eagles mainly because their OLine and DLine outplayed the Eagles’ Oline and Dline

  13. Marine Buc Says:

    There are a few players who could be cut –

    – Donnie Smith
    – C. Brate
    – R. Succop
    – L. Fournette
    – R. Gage

    I doubt we cut Gage ($2.8M savings) but if we do cut all 5 it will bring our salary cap down to minus $33.5M.

    Only problem is now the Bucs will need to replace all 5. So instead of having @ 20 free agents to sign (after draft picks are added) we will now have 25 free agents to sign.

    No easy answers this year…

  14. DoooshLaRue Says:

    LaGarrett Blount was a g-dam bargain.
    2.4 mil total for 3 SBs!

  15. Marine Buc Says:

    @ TBBF

    “Every Buc player playing for Bowles is overpaid……”

    I agree.

    Five Buc players are making $104M next year – 46% of the cap being spent on just five players…

    Sadly – the Bucs are entering an era will they will have to overpay free agents to come play in Tampa.

    The Brady effect is officially gone.

  16. BrianBucs Says:

    No running back in the NFL would have looked good in that pitiful run game that the Bucs put on the field this year.
    It was so predictable, plain and generic that it looked like they got it from a Pop Warner playbook.

  17. Cobraboy Says:

    Fournette got fat last offseason, and played the entire season like he was fat.

    The Shaun King of Bucs running backs…

  18. Dave Gover Says:

    Cant place all the blame on leonard.
    Line wasnt that good, and terrible coaching and game planning.Get rid of bowles ,and get a teacher minded co
    ach that actually has a head coach

  19. BucsFanSince1996 Says:

    With the circumstances as they are now, we can’t afford to keep him.

    I have no issue with him having gotten paid though. Without Lenny, the Bucs may have never gotten to the Super Bowl. He played a key role in getting us to the promised land.

  20. SOEbuc Says:

    No! Been saying it all offseason he definitely needs to leave and draft Bijan Robinson. It might be a passing league, but rebuilding oline and White and Robinson can be very dangerous.

  21. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    Perfect comparison cobraboy

  22. SlyPirate Says:


    4Net was not good. His new tiptoe thing was horribly ineffective. He couldn’t pick up any yards on his own. Regardless of pay, 4Net should be cut.

  23. Joe D. Says:


    What did we get for him? A track guy that had 8 career touches, and a 7th round pick, for a 3 SB champion that led his teams in rushing, seems fair…

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    According to a recent Tampa Bay Times article, releasing D Smith, Fournette, Gage, Brate AND Succop will save us $48.0 mil in terms of CAP Hit MINUS their Dead CAP of $26.0 mil … thus a total savings for the 5 of them of $22.0 mil.

    But wait, there’s more. As Marine Buc stated, we then have to replace FIVE more positions … LT, RB, WR#3, TE & K. Gut feel is that we’d be very lucky to do that for … oh ya, $22.0 mil.

    The reality about cutting players to save money is that it’s probably not worth it unless their CAP Hit exceeds their Dead CAP by a reasonable amount AND they can be replaced from inexpensively, preferably from within (not having to pay a FA to fill their spot). Such is the case with D Smith. We could save $10.0 mil by releasing him AND filling the position with Wirfs. Then we could slide Goedeke into the RT spot and see if that’s his sup of tea.

    Succop also fits that criteria; releasing him would save $3.7 mil and we could use Jose Borregales to replace him. Oh wait, we waived bye to Jose at the start of last season. My bad. Guess we’ll actually have to pay a Kicker to replace Succop. OR let Licht draft another one with our Rnd 2 pick. PO-TAY-TOES PO-TAH-TOES.

  25. Browsing from DC Says:

    I see the point but when you have a rookie or a guy who is still on his rookie contract, it skews the numbers. Put together a solid o-line and pay them, you can get great production out of an average back.

    Remember the Cowboys in the 90s? Emmitt Smith was really good but half the time he was 10 yards down field, running up the gut at that, before first contact.

    Only someone as special as Barry Sanders could flourish behind a crap o-line. He led the league in tackles for loss while leading the league in rushing yards (or so it seemed).

    The big fellas up front don’t get enough love or money

  26. Duane Says:

    Lenny is a legit 3 down back, doesnt break the bank, can block and catch. Hopefully, he can show up to camp at a better weight. He will be able to share the load earlier with White, and the team will naturally go with the hotter back. He still has value, and hopefully understands that he needs to produce this season. Trask is going to need a guy to dump it off to consistently.

  27. MadMax Says:

    LT Duncan in the first
    QB Hendon Hooker in the 2nd
    RB Zack Evans in the 3rd

    Sign a cheap CB this year….

    Then find a FG kicker with the next pick, 5th i guess….

    Hooker sits and heals, slowly learning the ropes when healthy, while we suck out loud with trask next season and land some high draft picks next year to fix our other holes…..then Hooker is good to go in 2024…use our 1st high draft picks on pass rush and ILB to replace David. A 3rd and 4th spent on CB.

  28. gotbbucs Says:

    Fournette making $7 million a year is highway robbery, and the only reason he got that is because Brady forced it down the organizations throat.

  29. Goatfarmer Says:

    This team under Bloweszo is ruined, regardless if the roster was 52 D2 college players or 52 pro bowlers. And we’re stuck with him. Oh happy days.

  30. bob in valrico Says:

    While Lenny can deliver a crushing block on occasion , he was rarely asked to do it or chipped a defender on the way of the backfield, and for me that should be a key part of the protection package on third down.

  31. Wild Bill Says:

    Lenny needed good blocking in order to get up to speed and the bucs did not have good blocking. Once Lenny turned the corner he could be awesome. Not blazing fast but fast enough and strong! At his best he ran thru and over dbs. This year the blocking sucked and so did Lenny. Just not worth his salary given the Bucs poor line play.