The Jacksonville Jaguars have released Leonard Fournette in a shocking move.
Leonard reportedly wanted a trade this offseason and at the time, the Jaguars discussed the running back with other clubs. Fournette’s value on the trade market wasn’t great and no trade materialized, leading to his release less than two weeks before the start of the NFL season.
Fournette was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 draft. He has played in 36 of a possible 48 games over the past three years, accumulating 2631 yards on 4.3 yards per carry. The 25-year-old has 17 touchdowns in his career.
Buccaneers in the Mix for Fournette?
Head coach Bruce Arians was asked about the possibility of adding Fournette on Monday, responding with “we’ll wait and see. He’s been a good player. We have to see where he fits.”
Arians on Leonard Fournette: "We'll wait and see. He's been a good player. We have to see where he fits."
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) August 31, 2020
The Buccaneers have a full roster of running backs with Ronald Jones II as the lead back in the offense. The former USC Trojan could be a league-winner in fantasy, as Pro Football Action explains, and on the field, he could be the guy that Tampa counts on to keep the offense going as they look to keep Brady from overextending his game.
Fournette proved to be a contributor in the passing game in 2019, catching 76 balls. Jones has been working on his pass-catching skills in hopes of getting more out of that area of the game. Tom Brady, who’s has made stars out of pass-catching backs in the past, has been giving Jones tips since camp started.
“He always tells me to get low in my routes and run my routes like I already have the ball,” Jones said, via the team’s website. “A lot of times I was trying to get a feel for the defense, if it was zone or man. I’m working on getting that pre-snap read and then just exploding through my routes, just finishing. I think that’s been what we’ve been working on now just in the shorts and stuff.”
Behind Jones is LeSean McCoy, who signed a one-year deal with the franchise this offseason, and Ke’Shawn Vaughn, whom the team drafted in the third round of the 2020 draft. Dare Ogunbowale and Raymond Calais round out the roster, though neither are locks to make the team.
Who’s Next at RB for Jacksonville?
Ryquell Armstead will likely be the beneficiary in Jacksonville’s backfield, as Jacob Rongholt of Pro Football Action relays. Armstead was the main back at Temple University rushing for nearly 1100 touchdowns and 13 touchdowns. The 2019 fifth-rounder has the ability to make quick cuts, advanced the ball ahead, and make big plays with 4.45 speed (in the 40-yard dash).
The team also has Chris Thompson, who followed offensive coordinator Jay Gruden from Washington to Jacksonville. Thompson played his last seven years on Washington, his best years were in 2016-17. In two years he garnered 1509 total yards from scrimmage and 11 touchdowns.
Third on the depth chart is Devine Ozigbo, who went undrafted in 2019 out of the University of Nebraska. He has his best season as a Cornhusker in his senior year with 1,082 yards and 12 touchdowns.
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