Leonard Fournette signs with Buffalo Bills, joins practice squad ahead of game vs. Bengals

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Leonard Fournette plays during an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
After being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in February, Leonard Fournette signed with the Buffalo Bills on Monday. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Leonard Fournette is no longer on the free agent market.

It took seven months, but on Monday, the Buffalo Bills signed the running back to their practice squad, according to Bleacher Report's Jordan Schultz. The Bills' running back corps became thin after Damien Harris was placed on injured reserve Oct. 20 thanks to a concussion and neck injury he suffered against the New York Giants.

Buffalo was then left with James Cook and Latavius Murray available, so Fournette was added to eventually help bolster the room.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released Fournette in February, which helped save the team approximately $3.5 million on its salary cap. That said, the decision was a mutual one. After Tom Brady's second retirement, Fournette went to the Bucs' leadership and asked for his release.

"I asked after the season to be [released], and they respected my wishes," Fournette told the Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud. "So no bad blood.

"Winning is everything. That's all. And in my last three years here, that's all we've done. But since my guy left, that's why I came, so my time here was up."

In his first year with Tampa Bay, Fournette won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2020 season. En route to the title, Fournette rushed for 300 yards and scored four touchdowns — three rushing and one receiving — in four playoff games.

The following postseason, in Tampa Bay's 30-27 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round, Fournette rushed for two touchdowns in the lone playoff game he played.

This success in the postseason is what helped Fournette earn the nickname, "Playoff Lenny," and the three-year, $21-million contract he signed in 2022. It also didn't hurt that Fournette had recorded 16 touchdowns between the 2020 and 2021 regular seasons, too.

Even though Fournette set career highs in games played (16), receiving yards (523) and receiving touchdowns (three) in 2022, his numbers on the ground were some of the lowest of his six-year career. His three touchdowns tied for the fewest while his 3.5 yards per carry were the second lowest.

The fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft adds playoff experience to the Bills' group. And because Buffalo doesn't need Fournette to be the lead back, he'll likely contribute in short-yardage and goal-line situations. The Bills face the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 9.