Tampa Bay Buccaneers Running Back Leonard Fournette Claps Back at Reports of Weight Gain Upon Minicamp Arrival

by Dustin Schutte

Remember when former UConn head coach Jim Calhoun sounded off on reporters by saying, “Get some facts and come back and see me!”? Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette had one of those moments recently.

The six-year NFL veteran clapped back at reports that he showed up to mandatory minicamp this summer weighing 260 pounds. Fournette denied the scale tipped that heavy with a social media post.

“No I weighed 245,” Fournette wrote in a tweet that has since been deleted. “Y’all say anything.”

Fournette’s (now deleted) comment came in response to a report from Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. During an episode of the Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast, Stroud said the Bucs running back showed up weighing 260 pounds.

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

For comparison, Tampa Bay’s team website listed Fournette at 228 pounds last season.

Leonard Fournette’s Return to Tampa Bay

We don’t know for certain how much Leonard Fournette weighed when he showed up to Tampa Bay’s mandatory minicamp this summer. What we do know, though, is that the 27-year-old running back considered leaving the Buccaneers until he had a very important conversation.

The person on the other end of the phone? Tom Brady.

Earlier this summer, Fournette revealed that Brady was the reason he decided to return to Tampa Bay. Following the conversation, he signed his name to a three-year, $21 million deal with the Bucs.

“At this time, I was a free agent, so I didn’t know if I was going to return to the Bucs or not. The future was uncertain,” Fournette said on the Rich Eisen Show. “So, I just went around shopping, you know, see what teams had in store for me.”

“When I went up to New England, he texted me. He was like, ‘Man, what’s your a– doing up there?’ I said, ‘Man, just shopping around, seeing what’s good for me, trying to see what’s available for myself to provide for my family.’ He was like, ‘Man, I’ll call you back. I’ll call you back.’ Next thing you know, Tampa calls me with an offer.”

It’s easy to understand why Brady wanted Fournette back in the offense. Last season, the former LSU standout rushed for 812 yards and eight touchdowns. He also caught 69 passes for 454 yards and two additional touchdowns.

That’s solid production out of the backfield.

Maybe there’s some offseason drama between Fournette and the coaching staff regarding his weight. Maybe there’s not. Regardless, if he’s able to produce at the same level he did in 2021, it won’t matter what the scale reads.