2022 NFL Free Agency: 4 Best Destinations for Leonard Fournette

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have several key contributors hitting the market during NFL free agency. Leonard Fournette is at the top of that list. The LSU product has spent the past two seasons in Tampa Bay, and he’s spearheaded the rushing attack since the 2020 Super Bowl run.

Fournette will become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. While he likely wants to return to the Bucs, several other NFL teams could be willing to offer him more money.

The fifth-year running back is the best available at the position, so backfield-needy teams should make a strong push for Fournette once free agency opens.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette prepares for NFL free agency
Leonard Fournette of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up before game against the Los Angeles Rams | Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Leonard Fournette has been an integral part of the Buccaneers offense over the past two seasons. He started heating up in the 2020 playoffs, and the momentum carried into the 2021 regular season.

Fournette rushed for 812 yards and eight touchdowns on 180 carries in 2021. He also recorded 69 receptions for 454 yards and another two scores. Tampa Bay’s offense featured plenty of talented weapons, but the running back made the most of his opportunities.

The Bucs have just over $6.7 million in cap space heading into the offseason. They’re below the league average and have other free agents on the docket. As good as Leonard Fournette has been, he’s not irreplaceable. Ke’Shawn Vaughn has shown flashes in limited opportunities. Ronald Jones II is also a free agent, but his price tag won’t be as high as Fournette’s.

Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins have a major hole at running back heading into the offseason. Myles Gaskin led the team with 612 yards and three touchdowns on 173 rush attempts. Duke Johnson, Phillip Lindsay, and Malcolm Brown are unrestricted free agents, but neither player is a long-term answer.

Leonard Fournette could step right into the Dolphins locker room and take over from Day 1. Miami appears poised to move forward with Tua Tagovailoa as the starting quarterback. Having a guy like Fournette, who has valuable big-game experience, could do wonders for his development.

The Dolphins front office has neglected to add quality running backs through the draft. The Bucs star would provide some stability to the position as Mike McDaniel begins his first season as head coach.

Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills have been one of the best teams in the AFC over the past three seasons. Sean McDermott’s squad fell short of the Super Bowl again after losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

Adding a player of Leonard Fournette’s caliber in NFL free agency could help Buffalo get over the hump. The Bills ranked sixth in the NFL in rushing offense, recording 129.9 yards per game. Devin Singletary led the way, totaling 870 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. However, Zack Moss failed to take a leap forward in his second season.

Fournette is a bigger back who has the skill set to take the offense to another level. Josh Allen plays a massive role in the Bills’ rushing attack. The Bucs running back could take some pressure off the franchise quarterback in the crucial moments of a game.

Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals will have some interesting decisions to make in the offseason, especially at running back. James Conner and Chase Edmonds will be hitting the free-agent market. Both players should get significant interest once NFL free agency opens, and it’s unlikely the Cardinals will bring both back.

Leonard Fournette would fit nicely in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense. He played a similar role in Tampa Bay to what Conner played in Arizona during the 2021 season. The former LSU Tigers star served as an all-purpose back in the Bucs offense. His ability to catch passes out of the backfield makes him a valuable asset in a high-volume passing scheme.

Kyler Murray’s status with the team is up in the air. However, if the star quarterback stays put, he and Fournette could work perfectly. Surely, the Cardinals would love to get their guys back, but adding the 27-year-old tailback could be a worthwhile investment.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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