According to a report by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be releasing running back Leonard Fournette when the new league year begins on March 15.
Fournette has $2 million fully guaranteed left on his contract and another $2M would’ve become fully guaranteed on March 19. Instead, he’ll be a free agent after the league year begins, allowing TB to spread the cap hit. https://t.co/qmkbJ1x9cV— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 28, 2023
This move will allow the Buccaneers to spread out the dead money owed to Fournette, and create more cap space for 2023. Currently, the Bucs are around $56 million over the projected salary cap. The news of Fournette’s release comes on the heels of today’s earlier headline about veteran offensive tackle Donovan Smith’s expected release.
Fournette signed with the Bucs right before the opener of the 2020 season. He had 300 yards rushing, 148 yards receiving, and scored four touchdowns for the Bucs in their magical postseason run that culminated with a victory in Super Bowl 55.
After signing a three-year, $21 million contract this past offseason, Fournette struggled mightily during the season. He played in only 10 games, and rushed for 462 yards on 135 attempts, for a measly 3.4 yards per carry.
From the looks of it, the Bucs are in full rebuilding mode with more moves to come.