Bucs’ Updated Depth Chart, Salary Cap After Leonard Fournette’s 3-Year, $21M Contract

AP Photo/Alex Menendez

Leonard Fournette is coming back for his third season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Bucs have re-signed Fournette to a three-year, $21 million deal that can be worth up to $24 million. 

Tampa Bay isn’t quite getting the entire band back together the way it did after winning the Super Bowl last year, but a lot of the offensive and defensive starters from the 2021 team are returning next season. 

Buccaneers’ Updated Depth Chart

QB: Tom Brady, Kyle Trask

RB: Leonard Fournette, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Kenjon Barner

WR1: Mike Evans, Breshad Perriman, Jaelon Darden, Codey McElroy

WR2: Chris Godwin, Cyril Grayson, Scott Miller, Vyncint Smith

WR3: Russell Gage, Tyler Johnson, Austin Watkins Jr., Travis Jonsen

TE: Cameron Brate

LT: Donovan Smith

LG: Aaron Stinnie, Nick Leverett, Sadarius Hutcherson

C: Ryan Jensen, Robert Hainsey

RG: Shaq Mason, John Molchon, Brandon Walton

RT: Tristan Wirfs, Jonathan Hubbard

DE: Willington Previlon

NT: Vita Vea, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Kobe Smith

DE: Benning Potoa’e

OLB: Anthony Nelson, Cam Gill

ILB: Devin White, K.J. Britt

ILB: Lavonte David, Grant Stuard

OLB: Shaquil Barrett, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, Elijah Ponder

CB: Carlton Davis, Dee Delaney, Rashard Robinson

CB: Jamel Dean, Ross Cockrell, Pierre Desir

SS: Logan Ryan, Mike Edwards, Troy Warner

FS: Antoine Winfield Jr., Chris Cooper

Special Teams: Bradley Pinion (P), Ryan Succop (K), Zach Triner (LS)

Depth chart via Ourlads.com

The Bucs’ cap total on Spotrac hasn’t been updated to account for Fournette’s contract, but they had $14.7 million available before the reported agreement. 

Fournette was at a crossroads after the 2019 season. The Jacksonville Jaguars declined his fifth-year option and released him in August 2020 when they were unable to find a trade partner.

The Buccaneers signed the former No. 4 overall draft pick out of LSU to a one-year contract one week before the start of the regular season. He wound up playing a significant role during the team’s run to the Super Bowl.

Fournette racked up 448 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns on 82 touches in four playoff games. He led all Bucs players with 135 yards from scrimmage in the 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.

Tampa brought Fournette back on a one-year deal for the 2021 season. The 27-year-old had his most productive year with 1,266 yards from scrimmage and 10 total touchdowns in 14 games to help the Bucs win the NFC South.

Pro Football Focus cited Fournette’s ability in gap schemes as his best fit moving forward:

“Fournette rejuvenated his NFL career in Tampa Bay’s duo-heavy rushing attack. He has been one of the best runners in gap schemes in the league this season, so it makes sense that he would look to join a team that utilizes a similar approach if he doesn’t stay with the Buccaneers. Ideally, Fournette would rotate with someone who is better suited to take on the passing-down work that he’s picked up over the past few years.”

Fournette’s return helps boost the Bucs’ title chances after Brady returned for a 23rd season.

Fournette was one of Tampa’s go-to players late last season after a rash of injuries took a toll on the roster. He has the size and power (6’0″, 228 lbs) to handle a full workload if the Bucs want to ease the burden on their passing game in 2022.

With the NFC South undergoing significant changes, including Matt Ryan being traded to the Indianapolis Colts and Sean Payton leaving the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay looks to be one of the strongest on-paper favorites to win a division title next season. 

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