Bruce Arians' statement today on Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette:
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just signed former fourth overall draft pick Leonard Fournette, who was waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday, but coach Bruce Arians said Ronald Jones is the team's starting running back and indicated that veteran LeSean McCoy will still occupy a spot on the roster.
"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," Arians said of Fournette. "But RoJo's our guy, Shady [McCoy] is ready for his role, so it's just gonna be building roles as we go along and having enough quality players to finish this thing."
When asked about how some could see Fournette's signing and McCoy's signing last month as an indictment on Jones -- particularly because Jones' hands are still a work in progress -- Arians said of Jones, "It's his job. Nothing's changed for him. 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."
Arians said Fournette's role is to be determined, but because of the position's high propensity for injuries, the coach thought the team could make a move and carve out a role for Fournette later.
-- I don't buy any of it for a minute. I fully expected Arians to support Jones at this point. That's what you have to do. I'm sure they need Jones for Week 1 as Fournette gets up to speed on the playbook. This statement is what you have to say as a leader to not torpedo your young RB (RoJo) -- it also wouldn't surprise me if they traded Jones before the weekend, but it's low odds.
This statement is going to send Fournette owners into a panic -- that's why I say CAPITALIZE on it. Don't bum rush after him like a fool. Don't believe the current owners 'doesn't care/loves him' -- they also have to say that to you.
If you go out and email/text a person "Whaddya want for Fournette," then you're a fool. Make a solid offer and send it and let them deal with it...let them make a decision, don;t engage in a bunch of babble about it. Or just ask about RB depth and just shopping around for the sake of it. If you take your clothes off and declare your love for Fournette immediately you are jacking up the price and scaring the current owner on what you know. Let them 'dump' Fournette on you.
If you own Ronald Jones today -- use that to leverage in that you want the RoJo handcuff...drive Fournette's value down by your words that way or by a flimsy/moderate offer.
-- Maybe RoJo is great and they split touches, they might Weeks 1-2 anyway. That's why this is a BUY LOW...not BUY AT ANY PRICE BECAUSE YOU'RE AMPED. You're amped but his current owner is nervous. Subtly expose it and snatch Fournette cheap if you want/can.
-- Don't whine that the current owner REALLY likes Fournette, they say if you get talking about it. What else are they going to say? Just play it cool and put that owner on the hot seat, eventually, to declare their real feelings. Don't waste a bunch of time talking about 'Well, he might not play much at first' or whatever way you try to 'help' the owner with how good it is you're wanting Fournette from them. Be subtle and don't show your cards...undermine Fournette's value. The owner can read. They know what Arians said, you don't need to quote it back.
If that owner REALLY likes Fournette for real or they are afraid of trading with you because you always know stuff...then walk away. No deal/discount to be had. There's no guarantee with Fournette, and you'll likely panic Week 1 when he splits with RoJo. This is BUY LOW only.