The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are releasing running back Leonard Fournette after three seasons with the team. The 28-year-old was a big part of the team's offense during his tenure and helped the franchise to a title in Super Bowl LV.
During the 2022 season, Fournette rushed for 668 yards and three touchdowns, while adding 73 receptions for 523 yards and three more scores. At 6-feet and 228 pounds, he possesses size, strength and versatility. The former first-round pick still has some juice left and could help an NFL team hoping to take the next step. Here's a look at three spots he could land in free agency.
New York Giants
The Giants have made it clear that bringing back Saquon Barkley is a priority for the franchise. But if that doesn't happen new bodies will be needed. Fournette is the same type of runner as Barkley: big, strong and with some open-field burst. He's also an effective receiver out of the backfield and has won at a high level. While Barkley is expected back, Fournette would be a great backup option for New York.
Broncos lead running back Javonte Williams is recovering after injuring his ACL and LCL in Week 4 this season. He may need time to get up to full speed. None of the other running backs on the roster showed much promise in 2023. New head coach Sean Payton is almost certain to lean on the running game while Russell Wilson searches for the magic he once had. Payton also loves to use his backs as receivers, making Fournette an ideal fit.
The Dolphins don't have a single running back under contract in 2023. While Raheem Mostert could be back, that's not a certainty. Even if he is, Fournette's size and versatility would work great in head coach Mike McDaniel's system. Miami was 25th in rushing offense during the 2022 season. That needs to improve and Fournette would certainly help. The fact that the Dolphins are more than $12 million over the cap makes a cheaper veteran pickup like Fournette especially attractive.