JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If there’s anyone at News4Jax who could make sense of the Jaguars’ abrupt decision to cut running back Leonard Fournette two weeks before the season, it’s Mark Brunell.
But even the former quarterback turned News4Jax Jaguars analyst was scratching his head on Monday.
“This is a stunner to me,” Brunell said in a phone interview on The Morning Show. “Leonard Fournette, say what you want, he came into camp healthy. All reports, and I haven’t seen the guys on the field, was that he was lighter, quicker, looked like he was in shape.”
The decision to part ways with Fournette, the fourth overall pick in 2017, was based purely on football reasons, head coach Doug Marrone told reporters after the news broke. Marrone said the team tried unsuccessfully to deal Fournette but couldn’t find a trade partner.
“I just thought that was the best for the team,” Marrone said.
Monday’s transaction is the latest in a series of moves cutting ties with big-name talents. It comes a day after the Jaguars agreed to a deal to send defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, a former third-round pick, to Minnesota in exchange for two draft picks.
“We just can’t seem to keep our young players, Bruce,” Brunell told News4Jax anchor Bruce Hamilton. “We do not have a first-round draft pick from 2012 to 2017 on our roster, and teams that are built for success, the first-round picks are the foundation of your organization.”
“I don’t feel great about the season, especially after what happened the last three days — Yannick being gone, Leonard being gone. And I’m not sure what the plan is. Obviously we got a lot of draft picks, we’ve got a young quarterback — hopefully he has a good year and I hope that the intent is to win football games.”
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