The Jaguars are listening to offers for star running back Leonard Fournette, and the Seahawks are one of the teams that have been linked to the rusher. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Jaguars have had “trade discussions” with other teams about Fournette and a deal could be completed during the NFL draft.
“Jaguars have had trade discussions with other teams regarding RB Leonard Fournette, league sources tell ESPN. Fournette is due $4.16 million in base salary in 2020. It’s a situation that bears watching as this week’s draft approaches,” Schefter tweeted.
The News Tribune’s Gregg Bell noted that fans can expect the Seahawks to be “exploring what options” Seattle has to potentially acquire Fournette.
“And now comes news Jacksonville is shopping trade offers for Leonard Fournette. Yes, expect #Seahawks are in on exploring what option that may (or may not) be. Would really be surprised if SEA hasn’t added a running back by this time (end of the draft) next week,” Bell explained on Twitter.
Fournette has had a productive three NFL seasons in Jacksonville but has not always lived up to the expectations of a top-five pick. Fournette is coming off 1,152 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 4.3 yards per carry. He also added 76 receptions for 522 yards in 15 games last season.
Chris Carson & Rashaad Penny Are Both Coming off Season-Ending Injuries
Both of the Seahawks’ top running backs are coming off season-ending injuries and are continuing to rehab for next season. Chris Carson is expected to make a full recovery in time for the start of the season, but Rashaad Penny’s status is in doubt. Pete Carroll admitted to Sports Illustrated at the NFL Combine that team needed to add depth at running back.
“We have to make sure that we have enough depth,” Carroll told Sports Illustrated. “Chris should be absolutely fine. We won’t overdue it with him, he’s had two great back-to-back seasons. We’re going to take care of him throughout all the way to game time when it comes up, so that means we’ve got some spots available for guys to compete for, so we’ll see how that goes.”
Sports Illustrated’s Corbin Smith noted that the Seahawks should take a look at Fournette if he could be acquired with a fifth or sixth-round pick. Fournette is set to have a $4.1 million salary but has a $8.6 million cap hit, per Spotrac. This could change if the Seahawks were not responsible for Fournette’s signing bonus. The Jaguars are unlikely to be able to get much for a player entering the final year of his contract who plays a position that has been greatly devalued.
“I have no sourcing on this… all pure speculation. But I wouldn’t be surprised at all if #Seahawks have asked about Leonard Fournette. With Penny recovering from ACL tear and Carson’s injury history,” Smith tweeted.
Fournette Campaigned For the Jaguars to Sign Cam Newton
Fournette has had a rocky tenure in Jacksonville and has not done himself any favors this offseason by campaigning for the team to sign Cam Newton. The Jaguars have publicly committed to Gardner Minshew, but Fournette has been vocal about his desire for Jacksonville to sign Newton. Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone did not seem extremely pleased with Fournette’s comments.
“I mean, we all talk about men are all men and everything, when you are in that locker room, you’ve got to say, ‘Hey listen, I said this because I really think this is best for the team,’ and if you can’t say this is what’s best for the team, then you’re going to have issues,” Marrone explained to Pro Football Talk. “. . . It’s not like a coach can get in between two players and fix something. You know, these things have to be fixed among each other at times and the coach can go in there and try to guide it through.”