Were the Patriots actually interested in Leonard Fournette?

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Not long after a report emerged that the Patriots were interested in running back Leonard Fournette, the Buccaneers signed him. So here’s the question: Were the Patriots actually interested in Fournette?

The Patriots typically don’t leak interest in a player. If they want him, no one knows about it until they get him. (For example, Cam Newton.)

There’s a good reason for that. Once other teams catch wind of the fact that Bill Belichick is interested in a player, that player instantly becomes more attractive. (For example, Cam Newton.)

The Patriots have avoided that dynamic by making it clear to players and agents that, if word emerges of the team’s interest, the dance instantly will end. So if it’s true that the Patriots were interested in Fournette, the fact that someone leaked it to the media means that the Patriots would have, based on past precedent, pulled the plug.

Perhaps the correct explanation is that the Patriots didn’t express interest, but that Fournette’s camp claimed that the Patriots were interested in order to give the market a goose. If that was the approach, it worked; former Patriots employee Jason Licht swooped in, possibly with a nudge from former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Is it right or wrong to leak that a team is interested when it isn’t? In the end, all’s fair in love, war, and football — and that notion also applies to football contracts.

14 responses to “Were the Patriots actually interested in Leonard Fournette?

  1. That was Fournette’s agent who claimed the Patriots had interest. It’s the same stragtegy by the agents in Baseball connecting every free agent to the Yankess, Dodgers, Red Sox, etc. If the big money team’s have interest they think every team will offer more. If Belichick has interest he must be good, or so they try to make each team think.

  2. I doubt NE had any real interest. I’m sure BB made a call to his agent to find out what his contract demands were, but that’s about it. But hey – kudos to his agent if he can spin a tire-kicking phone call from NE into a panic-buy for his client.

  3. I doubt it but Fournette’s agent is smart to realize the Bucs would be interested if the Patriots were also interested. It’s like the little brother who always mimics what his big brother does.

  4. Belichick was probably a little intrigued, but the Pats are pretty loaded at the position. I’m not a Pats fan, but if Cam Newton is actually fully healthy the Pats will be reloading rather than rebuilding. With Cam as the starter, NE will be a top rushing team and they are already very good on defense.

  5. Always worth asking if a guy is open to coming to play for a minimum salary/incentive rich deal. Sometimes you get them (Cam) and other times you don’t. Either way the Pats always win and the player in question always wins too since either the Pats get their guy at their price and he gets to play real meaningful football or someone else pays too much for him to “steal” him from the Pats and he gets to laugh all the way to the bank.

  6. If Belichick wanted egg salad on rice cakes, the Patriot fans would be proclaiming it as the next superfood.

  7. If Belichick wanted egg salad on rice cakes, the Patriot fans would be proclaiming it as the next superfood.

    You would cray about that too since it had to do something with the Pats.

  8. elrock7 says:
    September 3, 2020 at 11:56 am
    New England is no longer a preferred free agent destination.


    They are until proven otherwise. We have yet to see what a Bradyless Patirots team looks like.

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