The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have spent the early portion of the 2021 offseason retaining the key pieces of their championship team.
The Bucs had 34 players heading into free agency this offseason, according to overthecap.com, and have so far seen only three (Joe Haeg, Andrew Adams, and Chapelle Russell) leave the organization. Meanwhile, Tampa has re-signed Lavonte David, Shaquil Barrett, Rob Gronkowski, Ryan Succop, Kevin Minter, Aaron Stinnie, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Jeremiah Ledbetter, Pat O'Connor, Zach Triner, and Cyril Grayson, and franchise-tagged Chris Godwin, with whom they can still negotiate a long-term deal between now and mid-July. They also extended Tom Brady's contract, creating additional salary cap room to make some of the above moves.
On Friday, they agreed to terms with running back Leonard Fournette on a deal to return to the fold as well. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones confirmed Fournette received a one-year contract worth up to $4 million to come back and presumably split time with Ronald Jones yet again. With Fournette re-signing, the Buccaneers become the first time in the salary-cap era (since 1994) to bring back all 32 of their starters, per Elias Sports via ESPN's Field Yates. You have to go all the way back to the 1977 Raiders to find a Super Bowl champion that returned all 22 of its starters from the Super Bowl, per the Bucs' PR department, and to 1979 to find a team that returned all 22 of its Week 1 starters.
Fournette was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars prior to last season and signed with the Bucs a week later. He spent much of the season as the backup and passing-down complement to Jones, before taking over more of a lead role during the team's playoff run after Jones suffered an injury and Fournette performed well in his place. Fournette totaled 82 touches for 448 yards and four scores during the team's four-game playoff run.
A one-year deal allows the Bucs to run it back with the Jones-Fournette combination without committing future resources at a position they have shown (with Fournette himself) is easily fungible within their offense, while also allowing Fournette to return to a role that suited him well, so it makes sense for both team and player.