While the Jaguars are saying the right things about mending a relationship with star second year running back Leonard Fournette, actions speak louder than words.
And, it looks like there is trouble still brewing, and the Jaguars may actually be saying one thing publicly, while planning to do the exact opposite, soon.
On Thursday ProFootballTalk reported that Fournette is contesting the Jaguars decision to void the guaranteed money in the remaining two years of his rookie contract from 2017:
Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette, as expected, has filed a grievance challenging the voiding of his guaranteed money https://t.co/BS6mLSyLYu
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) January 17, 2019
Fournette has to formally contest the Jaguars decision through an arbitrator per the NFLPA collective bargaining agreement. The Jaguars voided $7 million remaining guaranteed, because they say: when Fournette got suspended by the NFL for his part in a November fight in the Bills game, that they have the right to do so.
As the PFT item states: they believe Fournette does have a good argument that the Jaguars cannot void the guarantees in the contract because of something that happened on the field during a game.
Fournette was ejected after he left the sidelines and fought with Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson after a play was over during the third quarter of November’s 24 – 21 loss. He was suspended by the league the following Monday for one game.
Fournette and the Jaguars recently met and coach Doug Marrone publicly stated again, this week that he believes Fournette” is in a good place” with understanding that he has to be more dedicated and a better teammate.
Of course, the Jags took the same approach with volatile former first-round pick defensive end Dante Fowler. They did not pick up Fowler’s fifth year option on his rookie contract and publicly called him out in the media last year to be a better teammate and to work harder.
Fowler was eventually traded away to the L.A. Rams at the October deadline.
So, this may be a case that Jacksonville is looking to make a blockbuster move and trade Fournette for at least one, if not more premium draft picks, to another team that would take him on with a still very affordable 3rd and 4th year remaining on his rookie deal.
After rushing for over a 1,000 yards his rookie year, Fournette missed seven games primarily with a hamstring injury and the eighth for suspension in what was essentially a lost season for him. And, it finished 5-11 for his team.
Fournette, by the way turned 24 years old on Friday, too.
For now, we’re left to wonder, as they battle behind the scenes about his guaranteed money, as to what it all truly means for Fournette’s future in North Florida.
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