B/R names Bills as potential landing spot for Leonard Fournette

The suggestion is clear. Now it remains to be seen if the Buffalo Bills could, or would, like to pull it off.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to release running back Leonard Fournette at the start of the new league year on March 15. According to Bucs Wire, the 28-year-old does not want to be part of a post-Tom Brady rebuilding project.

Following the news, Bleacher Report suggested that Fournette to Buffalo would make sense. B/R named the Bills one of Fournette’s potential best suitors.

Fournette not wanting to rebuild alone would make the Bills a potential candidate for his services. Buffalo is a team that has routinely cracked the postseason in recent years.

Fournette could be a desired running back the Bills haven’t been able to pin down in recent years. If Fournette comes to Buffalo, it would be because Devin Singletary departs in free agency. 

Singletary is a shifty back. Fournette is a bruising rusher. The Bills have wanted this in the past but have never found it over the long haul. First there was an aging Frank Gore, then Zack Moss who was traded.

Fournette is an obvious candidate for such a role, but Buffalo would have to do work to help him out as well. Fournette struggled last year, just like the rest of Tampa Bay’s backfield. Their offensive line was brutal and the Bills need to improve on the O-line if Fournette is going to be a worthwhile addition.

Plus, there’s the team’s salary cap to consider as they are nearly $19 million over the 2023 salary cap. Regardless of Fournette’s asking, Buffalo has work to do in that area.

Here’s how B/R explained the idea of Fournette to the Bills:

On Tuesday, at the NFL Scouting Combine, Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane told reporters that the team would restructure contracts to create cap space, though he doesn’t anticipate any major signings.

Even though the Bills may tighten up their spending while $16.6 million over the cap, Fournette shouldn’t cost them more than $5 million annually, which isn’t a big signing. As of Tuesday, 17 running backs have contracts that average more than $5 million per year.

The Bills will have a glaring need at running back with Devin Singletary set to become a free agent in a couple of weeks. In his presser, Beane expressed excitement for James Cook, who’s in line to take on an expanded role, but the Georgia product carried the ball more than 45 times once in four terms on the collegiate level. As a senior, he logged 113 rush attempts. In his 2022 rookie term, he logged 89 carries for 507 yards and two touchdowns.

As an explosive playmaker with a history of splitting touches out of the backfield, Cook will likely share the running back workload, which opens the door for Fournette to handle short-yardage and goal-line opportunities. At 5’8″, 198 pounds, Nyheim Hines isn’t suited for that role.

With the addition of Fournette, Buffalo can preserve quarterback Josh Allen’s health. Beane admitted that Allen played through injury late in 2022. The Bills signal-caller has registered at least 102 carries in four consecutive campaigns, racking up 28 rushing touchdowns inside the 10-yard line in his five-year career.

To clear cap space, the Bills can restructure Allen’s deal as well as Von Miller’s contract to save $32.4 million.


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Story originally appeared on Bills Wire