Lonely Lenny

May 23rd, 2023

Yes, the Buccaneers’ leading rusher last season has no football team. But he appears to want one badly.

Leonard “Lombardi Lenny” Fournette is busting his butt training and released a heavily-produced video yesterday on Twitter yesterday to show the world he’s hungry. “Some roads you gotta take alone. No friends, no family, just you & God,” Fournette wrote.

Times are tough for veteran running backs. Teams want the cheaper version in the draft. Heck, Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian regularly preaches that clubs shouldn’t be afraid to draft a running back in Round 1 — “just don’t give him a second contract,” he says.

At 28 years old coming off a nothing-special season, Fournette has made his money and surely is waiting on a job that pays more than the veteran minimum plus incentives.

And Joe can’t blame the guy. Say what you want about Lenny, but his 262 total touches for 1,191 yards and 6 touchdowns last season represent significant output. And he didn’t fumble.

Fournette will find a job before opening day, Joe believes, though he might have to wait until Dalvin Cook and Ezekiel Elliott finalize their 2023 destinations. The only safe bet is that Fournette won’t play in the NFC South. The teams there not named Tampa Bay are loaded at the position.


25 Responses to “Lonely Lenny”

  1. Beej Says:

    He’ll catch on after a few knees get blown out on training camp

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Some team will lose a RB to injury and Lenny will land….

  3. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Thinking he might be perfect in Dallas, Philly, SF, and definitely Buffalo needs a guy like Lenny

  4. gotbbucs Says:

    Where was this work last offseason?

    Last years workout video would have showed him bench pressing donuts.

  5. Tim Says:

    He’ll catch on with somebody, maybe someone gets injured in camp. If not, there’s always the Montreal Alouettes.

  6. SB~LV Says:

    Wow .. that Polian quote is cruel!
    Sadly true though, no other position takes as much abuse per touch

  7. Drunkinybor Says:

    Hes toast. He’s good for 2 or 3 games that’s it.

  8. Christina Says:

    Dumb to let him walk, the line was pitiful last season

  9. Architek Says:

    Solid video. LOL

  10. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Sometimes the two-headed moster that is the Joes gets a little schizophrenic. In consecutive articles Joe rakes Rachaad White over the coals for the stats he produced last year, then praises the “significant output” from Fournette. Joe isn’t raking White and Joe never pouted about the Bucs moving on from Fournette. But Joe didn’t make up Fournette’s total productivity numbers. Somebody has to more than make that up. —

    Your disdain for White is confusing. Anybody who watched Buc games regularly saw that White was clearly more productive than Fournette. He got way more out of his “run it up the gut” first-down carries. And, he had a better team attitude. They both had to deal with an incompetent OC, but one did a lot more with the eyeball test.

    I’ll never understand why the Joes have this infatuation with Fournette. He played well for about 10 games total in his entire time as a Buc, and most of those games came at the end of a season in which Ronald Jones was significantly better for most of the season. He was slow, he pouted, and he showed up to camp overweight. What gives with this love affair?

  11. Marine Buc Says:

    Bill Polian is right… Just pick a RB in the late first round every 4-5 years or so and do NOT sign them to another deal.

    Most RBs are toast after their first 5 seasons in the league anyways… If they make it that far.

  12. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Joe, I didn’t say you made up stats. But, you definitely look at Fournette’s stats through rose-colored glasses. Yes, he was a good pass catching back, an area where he showed a lot more than I expected from him. He was also very good in pass protection, which is extremely important. However, if the best thing you can say about your RB1 is that he blocks well, what does that really say about your RB? I mean, “running” is the first word in the job title.

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Lenny back with the Bucs this season. Other teams have signed ex-Bucs for peanuts this off-season (SMB – $3.5 mil; D Smith – $3.0 mil; Edwards – $3.0 mil, etc). Bucs could probably re-sign Fournette for less than $3 mil for an entire season, and less than that for a partial season.

    Say what you want about Lenny, but last year (3.5 YPC) was not a good gage of his rushing capability. He’s averaged right at 4.0 YPC over his 6-year career, and qualifies as the ‘big back’ that we lack right now. Lest folks forget, Rachaad White only averaged 3.7 YPC last season & Ke-Shawn Vaughn only averaged 3.1 YPC behind the same OLine & with the same OC calling the plays.

  14. gotbbucs Says:

    Fournette ran hard in the first game last year, pulled up lame at the end of the game, and turned right back into Self-Preservation Lenny the rest of the way.
    He doesn’t fumble because he doesn’t run hard and fight for extra yards. It’s not because he has some kind of Kung Fu grip on a football.
    He ran hard in college in order to get drafted high, when it was obvious Jacksonville wasn’t going to sign him long term he quit on them, he had to be talked out of quiting on the Bucs in 2020, played semi hard in 2021 to get a long term contract for 2022 and immediately sat on the couch and ballooned to 260 pounds.
    What Devin White is doing right now is an attitude he picked up from Fournette.

  15. adam from ny Says:

    he looks good and dieseled up like a wrecking ball in that video…

    i think he signed for 3 years 21 mil on his last bucs contract…

    i wonder how much of that he actually received with the release and all ?

  16. Statguy Says:

    “Dumb to let him walk, the line was pitiful last season”

    He asked to be released

  17. realistic-optimistic Says:

    I’m not convinced his newfound muscle mass will help him at all. He’s always been a slower, stockier back, which makes you think he’s tough and good at short yardage. This is not reality. The problem is his mentality. He thinks he’s a scatback. How many times have we seen him dance in the hole on 3rd-1 or 4th-1 when he should put his shoulder down and plow forward. The only time he ever puts his shoulder down is when he’s 10 yards downfield and can hit a smaller DB 2 steps before going out of bounds.

    My point is not that he’s terrible, just that he’s nothing special. JAG 3rd down back.

  18. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    Because he has a rep on two teams now, if he’s not the man, he’s a problem…& he was the man on the worst rushing attack ever.

  19. Brandon Says:

    His play hasn’t gone downhill… he’s just been terribly overrated for his entire career. Two years in his entire career that he averaged FOUR yards a carry or more. He’s always run hard initially but his legs have always gone dead on first contact as he launches himself at defenders, he’s never had nifty feet, been particularly fast, or been able to run routes. I disagree with Licht’s decisions very seldom… but re-signing Lenny was one of them.

    The fact that nobody signed Fournette last season after a lengthy time as a free agent, and nobody has signed him now, pretty much proves that the rest of the NFL doesn’t think highly of Lenny. Hell, nobody was jumping over themselves when the Jaguars flat out cut Fournette in 2020… and the undrafted rookie free agent came in and far outproduced what Fournette did the years before should have been a good indicator that he wasn’t special.

  20. Mike Johnson Says:

    Not worried about Lenny. He will play somewhere in the NFl this year. When the call comes, no matter how early or late, he will be ready.

  21. sasquatch Says:

    Leonard “Lombardi Lenny” Fournette is busting his butt training and released a heavily-produced video yesterday on Twitter yesterday to show the world he’s hungry.

    Maybe he should’ve done the same last season instead of loading up on pizza.

  22. OLDE pfart Says:

    Bucs would be lucky to resign him this year at a bargain price and with a new COMPETANT offensive line he can produce big yards as he can get past the line of scrimmage for a change….provided first down is not a run up the center like last year all the time

  23. Fred McNeil Says:

    I’d welcome Lenny back for one or two million.

  24. ScottyMack Says:

    Fournette is an extremely good back and any team – especially the Bucs – would be very fortunate to land him.

    His numbers vs. White’s were pretty similar last season running behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league. Well, unless you count fumbles where White coughed it up (and lost the ball) twice in far fewer carries (32% less) than Lenny who, as usual, had none.

    Fournette has several great years left in him for any team that is smart enough to add him (albeit at a lower salary than he is accustomed to getting – like pretty much all RBs these days).

  25. garro Says:

    Thanks Lenny
    Good luck everywhere but against the Bucs.