Leonard Fournette appears to be skating on thin ice, which is not a good idea when you weight a whopping 260 pounds.
After receiving a three-year, $21-million contract (with $12-million of that guaranteed) earlier this offseason, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back then proceeded to skip OTAs, before showing up to mandatory minicamp weighing over 30 pounds more than what he’s typically tipped the scales at during his NFL career.
If Fournette were a linebacker or defensive lineman, this might not be such a big issue, but he’s a running back who’s expected to carry a significant load in 2022 after signing his shinny new contract.
Needless to say, the Bucs’ coaching staff is not the slightest bit impressed with Fournette’s current physique.
According to a recent report from USA Today regarding the former fourth-overall pick’s weight-gain, Tampa’s coaches “are not happy, and that’s an understatement.”
Fournette still has some time to shed some pounds before Bucs camp opens on July 27, but he’ll certainly have his work cut out for him. Unfortunately for Tampa, they don’t really have the option to cut the former LSU star, as the cap hit for doing so would be even more than what they’re paying for him to be on their roster.
“Playoff Lenny” had a bounce-back season in 2021, carrying the ball 180 times for 812 yards and eight touchdowns. He added another 69 receptions for 452 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
He’s expected to be the clear-cut leader in the Bucs’ backfield in 2022 with Ronald Jones II gone to the Chiefs. However, if he can’t get his weight under control early on, his role as top dog could be challenged by third-round rookie Rachaad White.