The Jacksonville Jaguars have shed their second big-name player in less than two days. On Monday morning the team announced it is releasing running back Leonard Fournette after three seasons, just two weeks before opening the 2020 season against the Indianapolis Colts.
We have waived RB Leonard Fournette.— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) August 31, 2020
Fournette, a first-round pick out of LSU in 2017, had a rocky tenure with the Jags. He never hesitated to criticize the organization’s moves, and in April he criticized quarterback Gardner Minshew while lobbying for the team to sign Cam Newton. He also threatened a Tennessee Titans fan in the stands in 2018, later saying that the fan had shouted racial slurs at him. In April 2019 he was arrested for driving with a suspended license, the result of failing to pay a $204 speeding ticket from the previous November.
Over three seasons, Fournette rushed for 2,631 yards and 17 touchdowns. The Jaguars weren’t able to trade him, but he should get some interest on the open market — especially now that training camp injuries are starting to pile up.
Fournette was set to make just over $4 million this season, the final year of his rookie deal. All of that is fully guaranteed, but according to Ian Rapoport, the Jaguars are attempting to void that part of his contract. Fournette has filed a grievance.
The #Jaguars voided RB Leonard Fournette’s $4.2M guarantees following his suspension, but that process is now involved in a grievance. So it won’t be settled immediately, though the hope is it comes off the books eventually.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 31, 2020
He has a pretty good record in grievances against the Jags, though. In December he got back a $99,000 fine given to him by former head coach Tom Coughlin, who fined him for his conduct while sitting on the bench while inactive during the final game of the 2018 season. The NFLPA also won another grievance against the Jaguars around that time, so at least history is on Fournette’s side
Jaguars tried to trade Leonard Fournette
While the Jaguars cutting Fournette came as a surprise, the team did try to deal him. No team wanted to give up a draft pick for Fournette, according to Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone.
Jaguars did all they could to trade RB Leonard Fournette in the spring and then again this summer. But as Jaguars’ HC Doug Marrone said today: "We couldn't get anything, a fifth, a sixth, anything. We couldn't get anything."— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 31, 2020
Marrone told reporters the team “couldn’t get anything, a fifth, a sixth, anything” for Fournette.
Fournette thanks Jacksonville
On Monday afternoon, Fournette posted a thank you message on social media, expressing his gratitude to the fans, the Jaguars organization, and his now-former teammates.
Thank you, Jacksonville 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/LcckBRao4k— 7⃣ Leonard Fournette (@_fournette) August 31, 2020
Fournette may be gone from Jacksonville, but his legacy, such as it is, will live on.
Leonard Fournette at No. 4 overall instead of Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes — because you had Blake Bortles — is not only worse than the Bears taking Trubisky at 2, it’s one of the all time worst draft picks.— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) August 31, 2020
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