The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may benefit from this line of thinking when it comes to Leonard Fournette.

The Buccaneers’ top three running backs — Fournette, Ronald Jones and Giovani Bernard — will all be free agents this offseason. Of the three, Fournette is the Bucs’ biggest priority. Since stepping in as the featured back last postseason, the 26-year-old has established himself as one of the better running backs in the league.

In fact, Fournette’s 79.1 rushing grade (according to Pro Football Focus) ranks ninth among all starting running backs.

But according to Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay, one AFC contender, the Buffalo Bills, should avoid signing the Bucs running back.

“The Buffalo Bills brass may be getting impatient with the slow development of the team’s running backs and could throw some money at the position in free agency,” says Kay. “If it does sign a veteran on the open market, the team should think heavily before doling out a big contract to Leonard Fournette, arguably the top player at the position set to hit free agency in 2022.”

Why Bills Should Avoid Fournette

Kay goes on to point out that the Bills should avoid Fournette due to his lack of dynamic pass-catching ability.

“While Fournette does offer value as a hard-running back with elite ball security, he’s traditionally been a one-dimensional player who isn’t a great asset as a receiver,” says Kay. “He did show growth in the area this past season (ranking fourth amongst RBs with 454 receiving yards), but that was largely a result of his situation within Tampa’s backfield.

He’d be better utilized in a platoon that features a high-end pass-catching back, something the Bills lack at this time.”

If there’s one glaring weakness the Bills have on their roster, it’s their running backs. Both Zack Moss and Devin Singletary wouldn’t start on most NFL teams and their play leaves a lot to be desired. Moss’ 67.5 defensive grade ranks 36th among 61 qualifying running backs, while Singletary (65.1 offensive grade) ranks 44th among all backs.

Fournette’s cap hit for 2021 is a little over $3.2 million. Considering his valuable role for the Buccaneers over the past year, expect his market value to climb. According to Spotrac, Fournette’s projected value entering the offseason is $6 million per season, with a two-year, $12 million contract expected. That would boost Fournette’s contract value to 13th among …read more



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AFC Contender Warned to Avoid Signing Bucs’ Leonard Fournette

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