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Jaguars Reportedly Discuss Trading Leonard Fournette – Forbes

Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette could be on his way out of Jacksonville, FL. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Jaguars have had discussions with other NFL teams about trading the 25-year-old. Schefter cited unnamed league sources in a tweet on Saturday

The Jaguars drafted Fournette out of Louisiana State University in the First Round (4thoverall) of the 2017 NFL Draft and he signed a four-year rookie contract the following May. He is entering the final year of his $27,150,842 deal that included a $17,866,067 signing bonus, $27,150,842 guaranteed and an average annual salary of $6,787,711 according to Spotrac.com.

Fournette is coming off a solid season with the Jaguars. He started in 15 games and finished the year ranked fourth in the AFC and seventh in the NFL with 1,152 yards on 265 carries (4.4 rushing avg). His 76 receptions ranked fifth among all running backs and are the most recorded in a single season by a running back in Jacksonville team history. He scored three rushing touchdowns in 2019. 

Fournette came into the 2019 season trying to put some legal troubles behind him. He was arrested in April of 2019 for speeding and driving with a suspended license after failing to pay a ticket for a traffic violation. He would eventually pay a $303 fine to put the issue behind him.

While Fournette let his play do the talking in 2019, he has been vocal recently about his opinion on what direction the team should take. He appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” show to make a pitch for free agent quarterback Cam Newton despite the Jaguars moving forward with second-year quarterback Gardner Minshew as their starting quarterback. 

Fournette said the former Carolina Panthers quarterback went to the Super Bowl [50] and that he’s “a great guy”. Fournette also explained “there’s no disrespect to Minshew” and that he just wants the team to get in the best position to win. 

While the Jaguars may be shopping Fournette they also need to decide what to do with defensive end Yannick Ngakoue who received a franchise tag that would pay him $17,788,000 in 2020 according to Spotrac.com.  Ngakoue was upset that he did not sign a contract extension prior to the 2019 season. The Jaguars value Ngakoue and what he brings to the team’s defense. Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell spoke with members of the Jacksonville media last Thursday and was asked about Ngakoue’s situation and his answer was vague.

“I don’t really have a whole lot of news on that outside of we’re a week away from the draft and we exercised a franchise tender. He has yet to sign it,” Caldwell noted. “Other than that, I don’t have a whole lot to add.” 

If Ngakoue doesn’t sign the offer he could decide to sit out the year or he could be traded. So, it will not be surprising to hear Ngakoue’s name mentioned in trade talks as the draft gets closer. Jacksonville has 12 picks in the 2020 NFL Draft and along with them comes flexibility. 

“It’s huge. This is the most draft capital we’ve had here. We need to hit on all 12, and that’s our philosophy and our thought process. We want to make every one of them count,” Caldwell said. “If we can use one of those to trade up and get a guy that we want in a select round, we’ll do that too. You never know. We may acquire some more throughout the draft.”

Trading either Ngakoue or Fournette would certainly add to the Jaguars’ already strong draft position.

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