- Leonard Fournette has signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- With Fournette signed, the Bucs will have every starter from Super Bowl LV return for the 2021 season.
- The Bucs are second in the Super Bowl LVI oddsboards at +550 via SportsBetting.ag
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are really serious about winning again. That’s because they are really bringing the entire band together for the 2021 NFL season.
Leonard Fournette will re-sign with the Bucs, per @JosinaAnderson
Lombardi Lenny is BACK! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/1by0ILN24a
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) March 26, 2021
On Friday, free agent running back Leonard Fournette became the latest member of the 2020 Super Bowl LV winning team to return to Tampa Bay for the upcoming season. According to ESPN, Fournette will return to the Bucs on a one-year $3.25M deal that could be worth up to $4M with incentives.
It’s Lombardi Lenny now 😎
— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) February 11, 2021
Fournette signed with the Bucs on a one-season deal worth $2M after he was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars days before the start of the 2020 NFL season. By going to Tampa Bay, Fournette said it was a challenge to play as back-up behind Ronald Jones but his commitment to being a team player paid off.
Jones went down with an injury and missed weeks 15 and 16 of the regular season plus the wild card game against the Washington Football team. Fournette got his opportunity to shine and he delivered on the big stage, going for 225 yards and 4 touchdowns during that span. Fournette earned the nickname “Playoff Lenny” for delivering 93 yards and two touchdowns in the wild card game against Washington.
Then came Super Bowl LV where Fournette rushed for 89 yards on 16 carries, including a 27-yard TD run. He also caught four passes for 46 yards. With that haul, Fournette finished the 2020 playoffs with a total of 448 yards, the most of any player from scrimmage. His four postseason TDs were also the 4th most in franchise history. Because of his exploits, Fournette’s nickname was quickly changed to “Lombardi Lenny”, and rightfully so. But the problem for the Bucs was that he became a free agent after the 2020 season. That problem is now solved.
The Band is Back For 2021
All of Tampa Bay’s 22 starters from Super Bowl LV will return next season 🙌
They are the first defending champion to have everyone back in the salary-cap era. pic.twitter.com/F26no76iQS
— Gridiron (@Gridiron) March 26, 2021
With Fournette signed to a contract, the Buccaneers have now ensured that all 22 members of its Super Bowl LV starting unit will be back to play for the team next season. They become the first champion team in the salary cap era ( since 1994 ) to bring back all their Super Bowl starters, which is impressive given the restrictions of the cap.
The only other other team in the history of the NFL to bring back all of its Super Bowl starters to Week 1 of the next season was the 1976-77 Raiders. However, that team’s bid for back to back Super Bowl titles was foiled by the Denver Broncos in the AFC championship game. But what about these Bucs?
It’s hard to tell what happens when you add another year of mileage to your 43-year old quarterback. But if you ask the betting gods, the best NFL betting sites will tell you that Tampa Bay is getting stronger by the day. Online sportsbook SportsBetting.ag has the Bucs second in their Super Bowl LVI oddsboard behind the Kansas City Chiefs. But as of the latest odds dated 3/25/21, the gap is at its narrowest since the odds were posted. Kansas City is currently listed at +550 while Tampa Bay is now at +600.