It seems almost like a given at this point that the Jacksonville Jaguars move on from former fourth overall pick Leonard Fournette this offseason. The team has voided his remaining guaranteed money, which means they could outright cut him with minimal financial impact, but the more likely scenario is that Fournette is moved to another team via a trade.
There has been some talk about bringing Fournette back and seeing if this served as a wake up call for him, but based on everything the Jaguars have done so far seems to scream they’re done and moving on. Voiding his guaranteed money, as well as publicly confirming that you did so, is a pretty big deal. Couple that with VP of football Tom Coughlin publicly ripping Fournette via a release, it would seem like that bed has been made.
So the real question is: What can you get for Leonard Fournette?
He brings a lot of baggage in a trade, though voiding his guaranteed money does make him more attractive as a trade option because there is no real financial tie if it doesn’t work out for a new team. The baggage however, at least according to the Associated Press’ Mark Long on 1010XL earlier this week, seems to be big.
According to Long, Founette had a long history of being late to meetings, sleeping through meetings and playing on his phone. In fact, much of his rookie season he didn’t seem to know the playbook and quarterback Blake Bortles constantly had to tell him where to line up and what was going on on the play. Couple that with the talk that he kind of sandbagged rehabbing his injuries this season, which made his return take even longer.
The picture I’m painting here would seem to lean towards a player with no trade value, but people severely underrate the hubris of NFL franchises and coaches. While Fournette has a lot of baggage and has under performed on the field, he was still picked fourth overall and has measurables that NFL coaches dream about. Just look at the arguments some fans use to defend Fournette, in that he’s always facing a stacked box, the offensive line is bad and the defenses don’t fear the passing game at all so teams key on him.
If we simpletons can come up with that, the mighty galaxy brain NFL franchises can too. You see guys like Trent Richardson get moved for a first round pick or even Carlos Hyde get moved for a fifth overall pick. Fournette is still going to have value, though the fact that it seems the Jaguars appear to be completely done with him lowers it a big, I still think you can come away from a team in need of a running back with a third or fourth round pick, perhaps even using Fournette in a deal if you’re looking to move up in the 2019 NFL Draft for a quarterback.
What do you think Fournette’s trade value is?