The Jacksonville Jaguars waived star running back Leonard Fournette on Monday morning after failing to find a trade partner. Fournette was the 4th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft out of LSU and was a key factor in helping Jacksonville reach the AFC Championship game his rookie season.
Leonard Fournette has been one of the top running back’s over his first three seasons in the NFL. He totaled 2,631 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns over that span while only fumbling three times in 36 career games. It’s almost certain that he will be immediately picked up by a team looking for help in the backfield.
When asked why the Jaguars were unable to find a trade partner, head coach Doug Marrone said: “We couldn’t get anything, a fifth, a sixth, anything. We couldn’t get anything.” It’s no surprise they couldn’t get anything after it was evident that both sides were preparing to separate. Fournette had a long history with multiple fines and suspensions in Jacksonville and also criticized the front office in April for not attempting to sign Cam Newton.
The transaction concludes a period of roster moves as the Jags enter into yet another rebuild. They traded irritated DE Yannick Ngakoue to Minnesota for a 2021 2nd and 2022 5th round pick on Sunday. Ngakoue was so insistent on leaving Jacksonville that he even took a paycut with the Vikings. MLB Myles Jack is now the only remaining player to start on defense from the Jaguars 2017 season.
So, where is the most likely decision for Leonard Fournette?
There are plenty of teams that will show interest but the most obvious destination might not be a very far drive. The Tampa Bay Buccanneers made several splashes this offseason when they signed Tom Brady and also traded for un-retired TE Rob Gronkowski. The Bucs have been thin at running back over recent years and a player like Fournette in the backfield could be a huge boost for Brady. When asked about possibly adding Fournette, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians didn’t rule anything out.
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