Jaguars waive RB Leonard Fournette after three seasons


    NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that the Jags waived running back Leonard Fournette, per a source informed of the decision.

    The former No. 4 overall pick in 2017 was selected to be the centerpiece of the Jags’ ground-and-pound vision, as seen by former VP Tom Coughlin. While Fournette had fine counting stats, his efficiency never lived up to the draft status.

    « Really just trying to take the team and put the best team together from what we’ve seen in our practices so, at the end of the day, I just felt that was the best decision for us as a team, » coach Doug Marrone told reporters on why the decision was made so close to the season opener. « I think it gives us the best opportunity with the skillsets that we have with the other players in there, I just thought that was the best for the team and doing it now. We exhausted all trade opportunities; we weren’t able to get anything there so I just felt that now we can work on the team and the plan and get ourselves ready for the season. »

    Regarding Fournette’s trade value, Marrone explained the interest was essentially nonexistent. « My question was, ‘Can we get any value?’ And we couldn’t get any. Fifth, sixth, we couldn’t get anything, » he said.

    In 2019, Fournette rushed for 1,152 yards on 265 carries with three TDs, averaging a career-best 4.3 yards per carry in 15 games. In his three seasons in Jacksonville, the 25-year-old compiled 2,631 yards and 17 TDs on 666 attempts, for a 4.0 yards-per-carry average.

    His tenure in Jacksonville was a rocky one, from run-ins with management to ineffective play. In 2018, the team suspended the running back for one game following a fistfight with Bills defender Shaq Lawson.

    The Jags had previously declined Fournette’s fifth-year option. He was set to make $4.167 million in base salary. He’s subject to waivers after being cut by Jacksonville.

    If Leonard Fournette wins his grievance, he has no offset language so he can double-dip on his new team. If he loses due to failure to practice after his suspension, he is out $4M and the team clears it from their cap.

    The move comes a day after the Jaguars traded star pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue to Minnesota. The defensive end had pushed hard to get out of Jacksonville for months.

    Fournette didn’t appear in the Jags long-term plans, but it’s still somewhat of a surprise for the team to cut ties with a year left on his contract. Marrone and his staff apparently are confident in the young stable, which includes 2019 fifth-round pick Ryquell Armstead, former Saint Devine Ozibo, and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden favorite Chris Thompson as a pass-catcher. Expect a committee backfield out of Jacksonville after jettisoning Fournette.

    Fournette is a two-down bruiser who didn’t bring a ton to the passing-game in Jacksonville. He’ll land elsewhere in what should be a committee backfield. Whether someone snags him off waivers and picks up the entire final year of his deal will be the interesting part.

    The tale of Fourntte’s tenure in Jacksonville will be another reminder of the precarious nature of selecting a running back high in the draft — particularly one that isn’t a dual-threat like Christian McCaffrey, who went four picks later to Carolina in 2017.

    Fournette is the latest member of the 2017 Jaguars squad that almost made the Super Bowl to be shipped out of town. Now that team is almost all gone just three years later. Life in the NFL comes at you fast.

    Chris Carson missed the end of the 2019 season due to a hip injury but the running back is ready to go now. Coach Pete Carroll said he looks great and has fresh legs.

    It’s been one year since the Texans made major trades that saw LT Laremy Tunsil arrive and DE Jadeveon Clowney exit, and coach/GM Bill O’Brien gave his thoughts on the moves with clear hindsight.

    Philadelphia’s newest receiver will have to wait to make an immediate impact. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports that Eagles’ rookie WR Jalen Reagor (shoulder) will miss a few weeks as the 2020 approaches. 

    Rookie back Antonio Gibson is getting more reps at practice and plenty with the starters. He knows coach Ron Rivera and his staff, « see something in me. » And he’s ready to make it count, stating: « You throw me in there and I’m going to get it done. »

    Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie sounded off on several topics Sunday, including the country’s handling of COVID-19 and race relations. He believes the league is taking important steps addressing the latter.

    Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James, who missed all of the 2019 season, is likely to miss significant time with a meniscus injury he suffered during Sunday’s practice, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. 

    When the season starts, Taysom Hill will return to his usual, yet unpredictable, role, but for now he’s rejoicing in learning the quarterback position behind future Hall of Famer Drew Brees. 

    Adam Gase said on Saturday that he’s met with running back Le’Veon Bell after a public disagreement over the coach pulling the RB from practice on Wednesday. 

    The 2020 regular season is just around the corner, and NFL Network has you covered with wall-to-wall training camp coverage each day starting at 10 a.m. ET. Follow along here for some of the best sights, sounds and moments from « Inside Training Camp Live » and around the NFL.

    In less than a week’s time, running back Kalen Ballage was headed for a release from the Dolphins, then traded to the Jets and is now heading back to Miami after failing a physical, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. 

    Zach Cunningham has agreed to terms on a payday worthy of the state of Texas.
    The Houston Texans have inked the standout linebacker to a four-year, $58 million extension worth $14.5M per year in new money average, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Sunday, via sources informed of the deal. 

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