Leonard Fournette penned a 4-year contract with Jacksonville Jaguars, years ago. Admittedly, he has an option for a fifth year, however the Jaguars appear unlikely to pick up that option.
The team made it clear that he is not part of their future plans when they tried to trade him last month. General manager Dave Caldwell attempted to negotiate with Tampa Bay and Miami, but neither took the bait.
At the end of his rookie contract, Fournette is set to collect $4.17 million in 2020. Meanwhile, the Jaguars would have taken on $4.47 million in dead money if they chose to trade him away.
The former LSU star is coming off a a fairly successful year. He topped 1,600 yards from scrimmage in 15 games, carrying 265 times for 1,152 yards and even caught 76 passes for 522 yards.
Former Jaguars chief Tom Coughlin made Fournette the star player of his old-school, run-first philosophy. Back in 2017, those tactics worked wonders, though there was room for improvement on Fournette’s side.
Unfortunately, 2018 became a turning point in Leonard Fournette’s tenure in Jacksonville. During the worst season of his football life, he faced injury, suspension and the bench.
Annoyed, the franchise voided the remaining guarantees in his rookie contract after his one-game suspension. Coughlin slammed him for being “disrespectful” and “selfish” for sitting on the bench during the season finale. Adding to his woes, Fournette was arrested in April 2019 for driving with a suspended license.
The good news is that he turned his life around last year with his best season. However, it did little to quell his frustration during games.
With Coughlin gone and Jacksonville switching to a west coast offense under new coordinator Jay Gruden, the Jaguars don’t have a long-term need for a running back with a bruising running style and off-the-field red flags.
The Jaguars’ current quarterback room consists of Minshew, veteran backup Josh Dobbs, and rookie Jake Luton, a sixth-round pick who threw 28 touchdowns against just three interceptions during his final season at Oregon State. The Jaguars traded veteran Nick Foles to the Bears earlier this offseason in exchange for the 140th pick in the draft. Jacksonville used the draft pick to select former Miami linebacker Shaquille Quarterman.