The ‘Leonard Fournette’ chapter has officially come to an end in Jacksonville. The Jaguars parted ways with the 2017 first-round pick (fourth overall) via an official announcement on the team’s social media handle. It’s going to be one long wait for Fournette who will be looking for a new team to play for in the coming weeks.
Since joining in 2017, Fournette rushed for 2,631 yards and 17 touchdowns for the Jaguars. His off-field issues and lack of understanding with coach Doug Marrone are two major reasons behind his exit from Jacksonville. Also, the conspiracy theory of the Jaguars weakening on purpose in order to draft highly-rated college quarterback Trevor Lawrence in next year’s draft. But that debate is for another day.
After multiple rumors began to emerge about a potential Fournette departure this offseason, the Jaguars finally pulled the plug on Monday. The Jacksonville-based franchise waived Leonard Fournette with immediate notice. He will be eligible for a paycheck of $4.167 million in another NFL team claims him this season.
Fournette had a strong start to his NFL career in 2017. He was one of the driving forces behind the Jaguars’ run to the AFC Championship game that year. But his follow-up season in 2018 was filled with on-field disappointment (including a one-game suspension for an altercation with Buffalo Bills linebacker Shaq Lawson) and off-field issues. However, he bounced back last season with another strong individual performance. He rushed 265 times for 1,152 yards and completed 76 passes for 522 yards.
Even though the Jags have waived off their star running back, they could still orchestrate a trade for him in the coming days. Jacksonville’s waivers claim means they will be paying Fournette $4.167 million for 2020 as part of his initial rookie contract. However, coaches will now begin to pay close attention to the circumstances surrounding Fournette’s departure. The former first-round pick will attract some interest from NFL teams in need of a pass rusher.
This is the second Jacksonville player to leave the team this month. Highly-rated defensive end Yannick Ngakoue was traded to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a pair of draft picks last week.