Assessing the Leonard Fournette Situation With the Jacksonville Jaguars

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Leonard Fournette
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 23: Leonard Fournette #27 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in action against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Leonard Fournette’s tenure with the Jacksonville Jaguars should come to an end. The second-year running back has had injury issues, along with on the field issues and locker room problems. The former fourth overall pick has shed light for the team at times, but the problems that have come with that have caused the Jaguars organization to face a tough decision. 

What the Jacksonville Jaguars Should Do With Leonard Fournette

When Jacksonville drafted Fournette, they knew of his injuries during his college days at LSU. In 2017, Fournette helped lead the Jaguars to an AFC Championship berth but faced a few injuries that season. Skip ahead to 2018, and this season was a disaster for the talented tailback. From the injuries to the on-the-field issues, Fournette has become a major problem for the Jaguars. The front office should release or trade the running back and for good reason. 

On-the-Field Issues and Injury Problems

Leonard Fournette has brought forth issues in 2018 that Jacksonville could not escape. The injury early in the season that held him out for several games made the team think he didn’t want to play. When the Jaguars faced the Buffalo Bills, Fournette came off the bench and sparked an altercation with a Buffalo player. In Week 17 against the Houston Texans, Fournette and T.J. Yeldon both sat on the bench but were available to play. These issues have brought forth the question of whether or not Fournette should remain a Jaguar heading into 2019. 

End of Season Situation

Vice president Tom Coughlin personally called out Yeldon and Fournette for the Week 17 incident. The Jaguars are obviously fed up with the way Fournette has made himself available to play. The former first-round pick was highly thought of once drafted, but fans and the team are seeing things differently now. 

Jacksonville has already voided his guaranteed money from the remainder of his contract. Will the Jaguars get rid of Fournette during the off-season? If so, where does the team go in terms of a rushing attack following the decision? Should they keep him, 2019 could be a great season for Jacksonville’s backfield. Given that Fournette is a talented rusher, he can help lead the team. If he can keep his issues away, he needs to prove that he wants to be a Jaguar. 

On the other hand, if Fournette doesn’t prove that he wants to stay, the team should let him go and find their next great rusher. Jaguars fans have come to like Fournette, but are getting fed up with his issues and injury problems. The buzz around Jacksonville is that the organization needs to make a change, and it could be for the better. However, retaining Fournette could work out as well. 

What Lies Ahead

Should Jacksonville decide to keep the former first-round pick, it could work out in their favor. Head coach Doug Marrone has already stated that changes were coming with the way things are handled. Fans would think that this includes Fournette, as Marrone would obviously love to keep the talented back on the roster. If anyone is going to light a spark into Fournette, it would be Marrone. With the season being over, the Jaguars have a lot to discuss, and Fournette will be in the conversation.

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