Jaguars aren’t picking up Fournette’s ’21 option

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars have declined the fifth-year choice on working again Leonard Fournette for the 2021 season.

It is an unsurprising and anticipated transfer contemplating the crew was trying to commerce the previous fourth general choose for a month earlier than and through the current NFL draft.

Fournette will make $4.168 million in 2020 after which turn into a free agent, except the crew adjustments its thoughts and makes use of the franchise tag.

It has been an eventful month for Fournette. Along with being on the commerce block, he stated on social media and on ESPN’s First Take that he needed the crew to signal quarterback Cam Newton.

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“It is no disrespect to [Gardner Minshew],” Fournette stated on First Take. “I am simply making an attempt to get in the very best place as a crew as we will [to] win.”

Fournette is coming off his greatest season as a professional, speeding for a career-high 1,152 yards and totaling 1,674 yards from scrimmage. He led the Jaguars with 76 receptions, however he scored solely three touchdowns and was certainly one of solely three gamers within the NFL to catch 50 or extra passes and not using a landing reception (Dalvin Prepare dinner and Kenyan Drake have been the others).

Fournette was the primary draft choose made by government vp of soccer operations Tom Coughlin in 2017. Coughlin needed to construct the crew round a power-run recreation and dominant protection, and whereas that labored in 2017 and the Jaguars reached the AFC Championship Recreation, issues have not at all times gone easily between Fournette and the crew.

He was suspended for a recreation throughout his rookie season as a result of he left the crew early through the bye week and skipped the crew image, and he additionally was fined quite a few instances for being late to or not paying consideration in crew conferences.

He did not fully study the offense and quarterback Blake Bortles needed to often line him up within the right spot. Even so, he grew to become simply the second rookie in franchise historical past to hurry for greater than 1,000 yards, and he adopted up the 1,040 yards and 9 touchdowns with 242 yards and a franchise-record 4 TDs in three postseason video games.

Fournette struggled on and off the sphere in 2018, lacking six full video games and half of two others with a proper hamstring harm within the first eight weeks, and there was mounting frustration contained in the group in regards to the size of his absence.

All that point away apparently impacted his conditioning. Fournette ended the season heavier than when he reported for coaching camp, when he stated he was all the way down to 223 kilos (his lowest weight since his sophomore season at LSU). It is uncommon for an NFL participant to realize weight through the season, and Fournette was unable to do a lot, if any, conditioning through the time he was rehabbing his hamstring. Nevertheless, Fournette was not restricted by accidents in November and the primary half of December and didn’t enhance his conditioning. He did admit in December that he may have been in higher form.

The Jaguars aren’t selecting up Leonard Fournette’s fifth-year choice for 2021, a transfer that is not stunning after the crew tried buying and selling him during the last month. Julio Aguilar/Getty Pictures

Fournette additionally was suspended with out pay for one recreation for leaving the bench and combating with Buffalo Payments defensive lineman Shaq Lawson through the Jaguars’ 24-21 loss at Buffalo. Shortly after that, the Jaguars informed Fournette they have been voiding the assured cash remaining in his contract.

Fournette additionally was caught on video yelling at a fan within the stands through the crew’s embarrassing loss to Tennessee on Dec. 6, 2018. The video clip launched on exhibits Fournette yelling that he was going to “beat your ass” at an unknown fan earlier than two individuals stroll up and escort Fournette away. Fournette stated a number of days later {that a} fan used a racial slur, a declare that teammate T.J. Yeldon corroborated.

The season ended on a bitter be aware when Coughlin publicly criticized Fournette (who was inactive due to a foot harm) and Yeldon for sitting alone on the bench and appearing disinterested through the season finale. Coughlin stated they have been “disrespectful, egocentric and their habits was unbecoming that of knowledgeable soccer participant.” The crew fined Fournette $99,000 for that incident, however he appealed to the NFLPA and had the tremendous rescinded.

Fournette was arrested in April 2019 for driving with a suspended license, for which he finally paid a $303 tremendous, and no person was actually positive what to anticipate from him this previous season. He appeared to show issues round, although. He went to the College of Wyoming to work out with a former LSU energy coach through the offseason as a substitute of coaching in New Orleans. He did not attend each OTA, however coach Doug Marrone stated he was happy with the best way Fournette practiced and labored when he did present up.

Fournette reported to coaching camp in good condition and did not miss a observe.

There have been different small indicators that Fournette had matured. He performed in just one recreation within the preseason, however when he wasn’t on the sphere, he had on a headset so he may hear then-offensive coordinator John DeFilippo’s playcalls — and that was at his request.

Plus, it was Fournette who stepped in to drag Marrone away from cornerback Jalen Ramsey throughout their sideline argument in Houston.

However there additionally have been indicators of the outdated Fournette. He was visibly upset within the locker room after a loss to Indianapolis as a result of he carried the ball solely eight instances, which got here one recreation after he had solely 11 carries in a loss to Houston. Fournette was so pissed off that he stated he reached out to Marcus Allen and his father, Leonard Fournette Jr., to vent.

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