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Will Jaguars look to deal Leonard Fournette?

Florida Football Insiders



Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

We are now less than two weeks from the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, and probably the biggest personnel question still hanging out there for the Jaguars is: are they going to try to trade star running back Leonard Fournette?

Clearly there are two points to make. One, Fournette is a tremendous explosive talent, when he is healthy. And that qualifier, staying healthy, was a big problem last season. This as, Fournette missed all or most of eight of the Jaguar games with a hamstring injury.

However, the second point is that Fournette has been a headache off the field in more ways than one. So, now you wonder if VP of Football, Tom Coughlin and coach Doug Marrone haven’t decided to get something of value in return for Fournette and “move on” at the running back position.

The latest part of the off-field trouble was Fournette’s Thursday arrest in Jacksonville for repeated speeding violations and driving with a suspended license. The team said at the time that they were “gathering information” and would not have further comment, but you have to believe they are seething, privately.

This is because, last season included Fournette getting himself ejected in the November loss at Buffalo for fighting with Bills defensive lineman Shaq Lawson. Fournette was subsequently suspended the next week by the NFL and that’s where the team has taken the step to void the remaining guaranteed money on his contract due to clauses in the deal involving behavior.

Fournette is appealing the Jaguars decision for the NFL players Association.

And one more from the end of last year, Fournette was inactive with an ankle injury for the season finale in Houston and CBS Television cameras and announcers caught he and teammate T.J. Yeldon completely uninterested in participating in watching the game or being with their offensive teammates while the game was going on.

Coughlin felt compelled to publicly rebuke both Fournette and Yeldon for their behavior and disrespecting their teammates. So you know there is plenty of acrimony from the front office.

Now, Marrone publicly stated in January that they had met with Fournette and smoothed things over, you haven’t heard that from Fournette’s side.

And now the arrest Thursday has to have complicated matters. And, this is just in time for Jacksonville to potentially get someone to give them a decent draft pick, make a swap and be rid of the headaches.

It doesn’t do Jacksonville any good to outright release Fournette for nothing in return. He’s too valuable to others. And, given that it would only accelerate his signing bonus money onto this year’s cap, it makes no financial sense for a team that’s already been cap-strapped all offseason. (Fournette’s cap number is $7.4 million this season).

Now, we wait find out whether Jacksonville wants to move Fournette and is there a good offer for him?

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