Tampa Bay release former top five pick Leonard Fournette to free up salary cap space, with long-time Buccaneer Cameron Brate also following him out the door to save $5m in spending money
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers officially released running back Leonard Fournette and tight end Cameron Brate on Friday.
Fournette, 28, signed a three-year, $21 million extension prior to the 2022 season. He rushed for 668 yards and three touchdowns and added 73 catches for 523 yards and three scores in 16 games (nine starts).
Fournette has rushed for 4,478 yards and 34 touchdowns and added 312 catches for 2,219 yards and seven scores in 79 career games (61 starts) with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buccaneers.
He was selected by the Jaguars with the fourth overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft out of LSU.
Leonard Fournette is has officially been released by the Tampa Bay Bucs and is a free agent
The former LSU superstar started his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars way back in 2017
The Buccaneers have also released veteran tight end Cameron Brate to save salary cap space
Fournette was supplanted by then-rookie Rachaad White as the starter in Week 10. His pre-June 1 release saves a reported $3.5 million against the salary cap.
Cutting ties with Brate, 31, reportedly clears another $2 million in cap space.
An undrafted free agent out of Harvard in 2014, Brate spent parts of nine seasons with the Buccaneers.
He was limited to 20 catches for 174 yards in 11 games last season. He sustained a concussion in Week 4 and was later taken off the field on a stretcher with a neck injury in Week 7.
Brate totaled 273 catches for 2,857 yards and 33 touchdowns in 126 career games with the Buccaneers.
The 31-year-old veteran’s last catch as a Buccaneer ended up being the last touchdown pass thrown in Tom Brady’s legendary career.
Brate seemed to be open to the idea of leaving after Tampa Bay were eliminated from the playoffs by the Dallas Cowboys.
‘I’ll look back on my time very fondly with the Bucs,’ Brate said postgame. ‘It was awesome. An awesome ride. It’s been great.’
Brate struggled with injuries this year and was carted off in Week 7 with a sprained neck
He will always be remembered for catching the final touchdown pass of Tom Brady’s career