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Ravens, Chiefs Top Destinations For Former Top-5 Pick

Free agent running back Leonard Fournette wants to continue his career and could sign with two of the best teams in the AFC.
Leonard Fournette Free Agent

The 2024 season is right around the corner, and former Super Bowl champion running back Leonard Fournette is still a free agent. Selected with the fourth-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the LSU product has had something of a mixed career throughout his time in the league. At his best, the running back proved capable of being a featured cog in one of the league’s best offenses. He helped power Tampa Bay to a Super Bowl in 2020 before earning the full-time starting job in 2021 with a combined 1,266 yards and 10 touchdowns.

However, despite his strong seasons, Fournette has struggled to find a home in recent years. After a disappointing 2022, the running back couldn’t find a team until midway through the 2023 season. The Buffalo Bills signed Leonard Fournette following the season-ending injury to Damien Harris, but he finished the season with just 12 carries for 40 yards. Now entering his age-29 season, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Leonard Fournette still wants to play and hopes to sign as a free agent before the start of the season.

With new representation saying Fournette is in the “best shape of his career,” perhaps somebody picks up the phone and kicks the tires on the former first-round pick. If anyone is going to take a risk on him, it will probably be the Baltimore Ravens or Kansas City Chiefs.

Chiefs, Ravens Could Sign Free Agent Leonard Fournette

Leonard Fournette will not find a starting job as a free agent, which is why the Baltimore Ravens are such a good fit. The team spent big on Derrick Henry in free agency, and the superstar back will be the focal point of the rushing attack as long as he’s healthy. However, nobody can handle 100% of the touches, and Baltimore could use a better backup.

Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins both signed with the Los Anglees Chargers, creating a sizable gap on the depth chart. Justice Hill is a fine backup, and Keaton Mitchell showed promise as a rookie. However, Mitchell is coming back from a serious injury and Fournette can keep the seat warm until the former undrafted free agent is ready for action. Leonard Fournette doesn’t have the same burst or strength that he used to, but the free agent should be efficient in limited work while sharing a backfield with Lamar Jackson.

Veteran Experience

Isiah Pacheco has overcome his seventh-round draft capital to establish himself as the unquestioned starter on the best team in football. Leonard Fournette won’t steal his starting job, but the free agent can provide some much-needed insurance for a depth chart with shockingly little talent behind Pacheco. The physical nature of the running back position makes it one of the most injury-prone positions in sports, which means Kansas City is one bad hit away from catastrophe in their backfield.

Former first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire has proven time and time again that he can’t handle a large workload. Aside from him, the only other running backs of note on the roster are Deneric Prince and Keontay Ingram. Andy Reid historically likes to keep a veteran running back on the roster, and with Jerick McKinnon still unsigned, perhaps the three-time Super Bowl champion pivots to Fournette.

Main Photo: Sam Navarro – USA Today Sports


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