Jaguars plan on moving forward with Fournette on board

Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette.
Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette. (Associated Press)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars don’t have any plans to move on from running back Leonard Fournette as he enters the final year of his rookie contract, general manager Dave Caldwell said on a podcast Monday night.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported before the NFL draft that the Jaguars were looking to trade their former first-round pick. They couldn’t find any takers. That led to speculation that the Jaguars could move on early from Fournette by potentially cutting him, but that wasn’t the case.

The Jaguars didn’t select a running back in the draft, all but cementing the fact that Fournette would return in 2020. Caldwell said on the ProFootballTalk PM podcast Monday night that the team was planning on Fournette being a member of the Jaguars.

"There were just some minor discussions with that but nothing substantial throughout the draft or prior to the draft," Caldwell said on the podcast.

"I think the mindset is that we're going to go forward with Leonard on the team. I had a good talk with him on Friday. I know Coach [Doug] Marrone has had some discussion with him. He seems to be in great shape and mental frame of mind, and we feel that he'll have a great season this year."

Fournette tweeted in the wake of those trade reports that he was motivated and ready for 2020 with the team.

Fournette was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 draft and is coming off his best season in the league after a miserable 2018. He had 1,674 all-purpose yards (1,152 rushing) and became a much more integral part of the passing game. Fournette only scored three touchdowns, although the offense in general was erratic and underwhelming.

His draft spot looks embarrassingly high now considering that players like Christian McCaffrey (No. 8), Patrick Mahomes (No. 10), Marshon Lattimore (No. 11) and Deshaun Watson (No. 12) all went not far after Fournette.

The Jaguars declined to pick up Fournette’s fifth-year contract option, all but ensuring that Fournette will play elsewhere next season.

Pick Nos. 2-5 (Mitchell Trubisky, Solomon Thomas, Fournette and Corey Davis) have all had their options declined by their teams.

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