Bruce Arians: Leonard Fournette signing doesn’t change Ronald Jones’ status as starter

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette rushes against the New York Jets
Leonard Fournette was cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars this week.
(Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continued their quest to sign every offensive player anyone has ever heard of by picking up Leonard Fournette, the fourth overall 2017 draft pick who was cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars this week.

“When you can get a player of that caliber — I got great reviews from people that know him and who have coached him — he’ll fit right in, and we’ll see what role happens and how fast it can happen,” Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians told reporters Thursday.

No doubt a lot of teams were interested in pursuing Fournette when he suddenly became available. But the Buccaneers already have a rising star in second-year running back Ronald Jones and just signed veteran LeSean McCoy earlier this month as a backup.

Now they’ve added a guy who has rushed for 2,631 yards and 17 touchdowns in three seasons. Arians doesn’t see a crowded backfield as an issue and insists the starting job still belongs to Jones, the former USC star.

Leonard Fournette has one NFL preseason game under his belt, and already the Jacksonville Jaguars rookie running back thinks he has the league figured out.

“It’s his job. Nothing’s changed for him,” Arians said of Jones. “We’ve just added a heck of a piece of insurance and [we’ll] see what kind of role he can cut out. But RoJo — it’s his job if he wins it or loses it. He’s already got it, so he’s gonna have to screw it up. I don’t see that happening.”


Earlier in the offseason, the Buccaneers signed quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski, two New England Patriots legends who have nine Super Bowl rings between them.

Fournette seems happy to be added to the mix, tweeting an image of himself in Buccaneers gear Wednesday.