With Leonard Fournette being cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars and thus becoming a free agent the question becomes, where does he land?
There are a number of teams throughout the NFL who seem to be just a running back away from being a serious contender (or are already a serious contender, but could become unstoppable with Fournette’s talent and production). Today we will look at five of those teams who would benefit the most from signing Fournette. Let’s get right to it.
5. Arizona Cardinals
Second-year quarterback Kyler Murray was given a huge boost this offseason with the addition of DeAndre Hopkins to enhance his receiving corp, but the running game leaves something to be desired.
Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds are his two options to hand the ball off to right now, and that’s just not going to cut it in a very strong NFC West. Would the Cardinals suddenly become a playoff contender with Fournette?
Probably not considering the other holes the franchise needs to fill, but Fournette would be a huge boost to the team and a big help to their young franchise quarterback.
4. Buffalo Bills
The Bills shocked a lot of people with their strong start to the 2019 season, starting 3-0 to a lot of people’s surprise. While they could not maintain it throughout the season, it was a good start to the franchise’s rebuilding process behind 2018 first round draft pick Josh Allen.
The Bills added a big piece for Allen to throw to this offseason in Stefon Diggs, but like the Cardinals, the running game leaves something to be desired with Devin Singletary being the Bills top running back.
Leonard Fournette could push the Bills from being just a playoff team to being a legitimate AFC Championship contender.
3. Kansas City Chiefs
Is it possible for a Super Bowl-caliber team to get even better?! Yes, yes it is. The only part of the Chiefs offense that is lacking is the running game.
Outside of Mahomes taking it himself, the Chiefs do not have a proven number one running back on the team. They drafted Clyde Edwards-Helaire with the last pick of the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, which will definitely help the running game, but he is unproven. Especially in this season with the limited preseason due to the pandemic the Chiefs could use a veteran running back to trade snaps with Edwards-Helaire as well as guiding him through NFL life.
While Fournette may not be the best option as a mentor considering his past, the Chiefs could potentially get him for cheap, which would be an easy low-risk, high-reward move for the defending Super Bowl champions.
2. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams lost their franchise running back to free agency this offseason, with Todd Gurley signing with the Atlanta Falcons.
While the Rams did draft a running back in the draft, using their second round pick to draft Cam Akers, that more than likely won’t be enough to get them back to the Super Bowl, which is where Sean McVay and Jared Goff want to be.
After a strong but disappointing 2019 season, and with the NFC West quickly becoming the best division in the NFL, the Rams need a powerful running back to compete and have a chance of winning the NFC West, and Leonard Fournette is the right man for the job.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Another team that is one piece away from being one of the favorites for the Super Bowl, the Buccaneers already made waves by signing Tom Brady in the offseason.
With Brady getting up there in age, however, and even younger Brady was never much of a scrambler, he needs a strong rushing game in order to keep some of the defensive pressure off of him, and Ronald Jones and LeSean McCoy just won’t cut it.
If the Buccaneers don’t want Brady to be blitzed each play they will need a legitimate threat in the running game to divert the defense’s attention, and Fournette could be the right man for the job. Also with Brady at the helm his off the field issues more than likely would be taken care of due to Brady’s professionalism.
Where Fournette lands? No idea, but these five teams would benefit greatly from his addition and could be the difference between a pretender and a contender.