Leonard Fournette returns to Buccaneers on 3-year deal

Leonard Fournette Buccaneers
Leonard Fournette
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Free-agent running back Leonard Fournette is returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a three-year deal worth $21 million, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday.

The agreement comes just one day after the 27-year-old visited the New England Patriots, as the pull of reuniting with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay proved to be too much.

Despite missing three games due to injury last season, Fournette ranked sixth amongst NFL running backs with 1,266 yards from scrimmage last season — an important dual-threat to Brady’s offense with 812 rushing yards coupled with an additional 454 receiving yards on 69 receptions.

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A hamstring injury forced him on injured reserve in Week 15, keeping him out for the final three weeks of the regular season and the Wild Card Round, though he was able to return for the Buccaneers’ Divisional Round loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Still, his contributions to the Buccaneers over the last two seasons have now been rewarded with a multi-year contract; he signed a pair of one-year deals with Tampa Bay after three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Despite backing up Ronald Jones for most of the 2020 season, Fournette was an invaluable part of the Bucs’ Super Bowl LV winning squad after the starter went down with a broken finger and quad injury.

He posted 448 yards from scrimmage with four touchdowns in the playoffs, headlined by a 135-yard day in the Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs.