Getting into his third yr with the Bucs, Leonard Fournette has by no means had higher job safety with the workforce than he does proper now.
Since he signed with the Bucs in 2020, Fournette first needed to wait all the way in which till the postseason for his second. That led to a historic playoff and Tremendous Bowl run. The following yr, he was nonetheless in competitors for a starter’s position with Ronald Jones II in the course of the preseason, however he received that battle and didn’t have a difficulty once more.
However this yr, Fournette lastly received the consolation he’s been on the lookout for. He obtained a three-year deal in March value as much as $24 million. With that contract, there could be little question relating to his standing because the beginning working again. Everybody else is behind him.
“I imply, it felt nice. Undoubtedly, you’re betting on your self,” Fournette mentioned on Tuesday about getting that deal. “My first yr was robust for me, being behind RoJo and issues like that. I needed to come out and compete each day at apply. My quantity was known as and I made the perfect of it. The next yr, simply got here in simply competing regardless of that I knew that I used to be most likely going to share carries once more with him, however simply come out competing attempting to be primary.”
After getting a multi-year deal to cement his spot atop the depth chart, Fournette then noticed the Bucs draft Arizona State working again Rachaad White within the third spherical of the 2022 NFL Draft.
White isn’t a risk to Fournette simply but, however he’ll be nipping at Fournette’s heels for extra enjoying time. White has proven flashes of stardom already, and he’s made it clear a month in the past that he needs to be the starter on this workforce.
“My expectation, my objective is I’m getting into there and competing,” White mentioned on the Jim Rome present in Might. “I wish to be the beginning working again.
“I do know I received Lenny in entrance of me. I’m gonna absorb plenty of information from Lenny in that working again room [and] Giovani Bernard. That’s simply the kind of man I’m. However I’m all the time a competitor first.”
After the Bucs opened necessary mini camp Tuesday morning, Fournette responded to White’s feedback, and took it in stride. He really recommended his new teammate for his thought course of, saying he was the very same manner when he entered the league.
“Yeah, I talked to him,” Fournette mentioned. “I’ve seen folks making an enormous deal [that] he mentioned he’s coming to start out. That needs to be your mindset. That was my mindset once I first got here in. I respect it. He’s a terrific man, I met him most likely a few weeks in the past. Simply speaking to him, he needs to know the right way to be the perfect, what ideas can I give him. So, I’m working with him.”
In a Bucs offense that averaged 30.1 factors per sport final yr, each working backs will get to flourish this season.