Running back Leonard Fournette was officially signed Wednesday. A key player for the Buccaneers offense in the playoffs, the veteran running back is returning to Tampa Bay in hopes that he and the rest of the Bucs can repeat as champions.
But coming back was more than that and more than money. Fournette revealed Wednesday that being a part of the Bucs humbled him and despite getting offers for more money elsewhere, he chose to come back to a team that he felt he fit right in with.
“I just wanted to come back and enjoy myself. Instead of being a new face on the block [on another team], I was coming back to the team I was enjoying the [free agency] process with,” Fournette said. “Me coming to this team humbled me a lot. Being around so much talent, you’re so used to being ‘that guy’ on the team, I think it helped me develop into a better man too. I could have gone elsewhere and gotten more money, I think this is the better place for me. I’m not going to lie.”
Fournette became an instant favorite in the locker room with his Tampa Bay teammates. He mentioned that being cut before being acquired by the Bucs was an eye-opening experience for him. The veteran added that the guys on the team helped get through a time where he said it messed him up mentally.
One of his biggest supporters and one that helped him get through it all was wide receiver Antonio Brown.
“The biggest helpers on the team was A.B.,” said Fournette. “Going through what he went through and what I went through, just motivating each other, those pep talks we had each and every day, just trusting the process, things like that, he played a big part, too.
“I hope he comes back. Guys like that, you need around. He’s just I think misunderstood, a lot. I didn’t know too much about AB before we played with each other, but he’s a great guy to be around and I hope he comes back.”
We don’t know where Brown will land. Even if it’s not in Tampa Bay, Fournette at least feels right at home with the current guys in the Buccaneers locker room.