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#pounditTuesday, March 28, 2023

Bucs reportedly unhappy with Leonard Fournette over weight

Leonard Fournette in a helmet

Aug 14, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (7) warms up before a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers put their faith in Leonard Fournette when they re-signed him to a three-year contract this offseason, but they were apparently not pleased with what they saw when the veteran running back showed up to minicamp.

Bucs reporter Rick Stroud said Friday on his “Sports Day Tampa Bay” podcast that coaches were alarmed at Fournette’s weight. The former first-round pick has supposedly ballooned to almost 260 pounds.

“Coaches were not happy, and that’s an understatement, when [Fournette] didn’t participate in the OTAs but then he shows up at the mandatory minicamp weighing damn near 260 [pounds],” Stroud said, as transcribed by “And that’s not a good sign for a guy that you just spent a three-year contract on.”

That would be an awful lot of weight gain during an offseason. Fournette was listed at 228 pounds last season. He has always been a big back, but the most he has been listed at in the NFL is 235 during his rookie season with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Some photos of Fournette from June practices have surfaced, and he was not exactly looking ripped.

A lot of offseason weight concerns end up being overblown, and that may be the case for Fournette. Tom Brady certainly did not seem concerned about what kind of shape Fournette was in several weeks ago.

Fournette rushed for 812 yards and eight touchdowns on 180 carries last season. He also proved he can play a big role in the passing game with 69 catches and another two scores.


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