Bruce Arians said after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl that he had hoped to keep the team together as much as possible going into next season and on Friday, it seems like they were able to do just that.
The Bucs agreed to re-sign running back Leonard Fournette to a one-year, $3.25 million deal on Friday, with the chance to make up to $4 million in incentives, sources told ESPN.
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The deal isn’t official yet but once it goes through it means Tampa will have signed all 22 offensive and defensive starters from their championship team.
The last team to do the same was the 1977 Raiders who would end up advancing to the AFC title game the following season, according to The Tampa Bay Times.
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Bucs’ general manager Jason Licht hinted at the deal on Friday during an appearance on SiriusXM’s NFL Radio, saying he was “beyond excited.”
“You know what you’ve got, you know what your players are, you know what they’re capable of, and there’s no trial and error with them,” he said. “You’re jumping in right where you left off, so that’s huge.”
Drafted No. 4 overall by the Jaguars in 2017, Fournette had a breakout year, totaling 1,040 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in nine 13 games played in a season where he would help Jacksonville reach the AFC Championship.
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But his sophomore year saw a serious drop in performance – he would total just 439 rushing yards and five touchdowns in nine games. Fournette was able to top 1,000 rushing yards again in 2019 but was cut before the start of 2020.
He totaled 367 rushing yards and six touchdowns in 13 games this season.