What's Next for Leonard Fournette?
By Tommy Harvey
Monday morning, it was reported Jacksonville is releasing former 4th overall pick RB Leonard Fournette. After already declining his 5th year option and not able to work out a trade, the Jaguars have now decided to clear Fournette's $4 million off the books. It's not very often a RB coming off a season with 1,150+ yards rushing and 76 receptions gets released. By releasing him, any team is now free to place a waiver claim. Who are the teams best suited to take a chance on the former Pro Bowler?
The Bears drafted RB David Montgomery last season out of Iowa State with hopes he would become the workhorse. After a somewhat disappointing season, Montgomery was looking to prove his worth in 2020. However, he suffered a groin injury last week and is expected to miss several weeks. Chicago could use a proven veteran RB like Leonard Fournette to provide Nick Foles or Mitchell Trubisky a backfield threat. Fournette would help solidify an offense that has lacked productivity in recent years.
Los Angeles Chargers
Austin Ekeler is a fantasy stud, but has never had more than 132 carries in a season. There are hopes he can be a 3-down back, but bringing in Leonard Fournette would allow the Chargers to utilize Ekeler in a way he can be most productive. LA drafted RB Joshua Kelley and brings back RB Justin Jackson, but neither Leonard Fournette. With the departure of Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles could use a proven RB to replace the new Bronco.
New York Jets
Le'Veon Bell...Frank Gore...Kalen Ballage...YIKES! Bell seems unmotivated, Gore is 80 years old, and Ballage (who failed his physical and is not a Jet yet) has been below average during his career in Miami. Will Adam Gase go get Leonard Fournette? He should! Pairing him with Sam Darnold may keep the young QB from seeing ghosts.
Washington (Insert Name Here)
Washington is pretty much in the same boat as the Jets. Derrius Guice was released earlier this summer, leaving a RB room of Adrian Peterson (another 80 year old), Antonio Gibson (rookie RB who was a WR in college), Bryce Love (injured since his Heisman worthy junior season at Stanford), and Peyton Barber (meh...). With a lack of offensive weapons, Washington should go after Fournette.
New England Patriots
The Patriots seem to be in rebuild mode, but in a very mediocre AFC East, they could still make the playoffs. You would think QB Cam Newton would love to have a RB with Leonard Fournette's ability in the backfield with him. Sony Michel is injured and has been unproductive, James White is a 3rd down receiving back, Rex Burkhead has had injury problems in the past, and Damien Harris is unproven. Harris could open the season as the starter, but Fournette would be a definite upgrade.
Other potential landing spots: Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Seattle Seahawks