Why the Bucs Should Make a Trade for Leonard Fournette


Jameis Winston enjoyed a run game his rookie season in Tampa. Doug Martin ran for over 1,400 yards and the team overall was fifth in the league in rushing. Every year since has been dreadful with Peyton Barber coming the closest to breaking the century mark with 871 rushing yards in 2018. The Bucs have been near the bottom in rushing yards per game over the last four years, putting an incredible amount of pressure on Winston to carry the team.

The Bucs now have a new signal-caller under center and his name is Tom Brady and a key position of need this offseason for Tampa has been running back. The team right now has only Ronald Jones and Dare Ogunbowale that have seen real playing time on the roster.

There have been several mocks that have them taking a running back as high as the second-round in this week's NFL Draft and while that seems like an upgrade to what they have now, rookies coming in are always an unknown.

So why not trade for a proven back? Why not trade for Leonard Fournette?

The Jaguars have put the fourth-year back on the trade block for a number of reasons and none of them are a good look for Fournette.

Those are major red flags but the culture in Jacksonville has been awful for a couple years now. Guys like Jalen Ramsey and Yannick Ngakoue voicing their displeasure with the team and the latter doing what he can to get traded including a Twitter back-and-forth with Jags' co-owner Tony Khan. So a change of scenery might be what Fournette needs.

I've also been skeptical about Fournette's pro prospects because of injury concerns dating back to his college days at LSU, but bringing him an is an instant upgrade over what the Bucs have now. He has had some cases of poor judgement (Cam Newton comments, threatening to beat up a Titans fan, and getting into a fight with the Bills' Shaq Lawson) but he has produced on the field. He's had two 1,000 yards rushing seasons in three years with his only non-1,000 yard season getting cut short due to injury, he's been to an AFC Championship game (against Tom Brady which they arguably should have won), he can catch the ball out of the backfield, and he will come cheap.

Fournette is entering the fourth year of his rookie deal and because he was a first-round pick, he is eligible for a fifth-year option.

Imagine Tom Brady throwing the ball to Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Cameron Brate while handing off to Leonard Fournette and even dumping off passes to Fournette out of the backfield. The Bucs can still use a draft pick on a rookie back as well but why not trade for a proven commodity now and go all in while you have Brady?

Sources say the Bucs are not expected to make a move for Fournette. Maybe they really aren't interested or maybe they want to see if they can lower the price but either way, the Bucs need an upgrade at the running back position and they can get it instantly by trading for him.


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