The Tampa Bay Buccaneers shocked the NFL world on Wednesday night when they signed former No. 4 overall pick running back Leonard Fournette to a one-year deal. Fournette was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier this week and went unclaimed on waivers. He was set to enter the final year of his rookie deal in 2020 and earn $4.17 million in base salary, but Jacksonville thought it best to move in a different direction.
Fournette should be able to come in and make an immediate impact for the Buccaneers, but they are also stacked at the running back position. Head coach Bruce Arians said on Thursday that this position is the one place where you can't have enough talent, and when you have the opportunity to grab a player as good as Fournette, you make a move. Despite this latest addition, Arians says that Ronald Jones is still the starter in his offense, and called Fournette a heck of an insurance policy.
"It's his job. Nothing has changed for him," Arians said of Jones, via Jon Ledyard of Pewter Report. "It's his job, he's got it, he's got to screw it up to lose it and I don't see that happening."
In his second season with the Buccaneers, Jones rushed for 724 yards and six touchdowns while averaging 4.2 yards per carry. While he is not seen as a pass-catching back, he also caught 31 passes for 309 yards while averaging 10 yards per reception. The Buccaneers appeared to fill that role of receiving back when they signed LeSean McCoy earlier this offseason, but now you have to wonder how many backs Arians plans on keeping on his roster. Apart from Fournette, Jones and McCoy, the Bucs also return Dare Ogunbowale and drafted Ke'Shawn Vaughn.
During CBS Sports' Fantasy Football Draft-A-Thon on Wednesday night, NFL Fantasy Football expert Jamey Eisenberg said that Arians' actions do not match what he has been saying. He doesn't believe that Arians actually trusts Jones, and still would draft Fournette over Jones in his fantasy football drafts -- although he wouldn't take either before Round 7.