Chiefs should consider making a run at Leonard Fournette

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The Jaguars are indeed looking to trade running back Leonard Fournette, PFT has confirmed. So will the Jaguars find someone to take Fournette, the fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft (a/k/a the guy taken four spots before Christian McCaffrey, six before Patrick Mahomes, and seven before Deshaun Watson), off their hands?

Fournette’s $4.1 million salary for 2020 represents roughly half the average amount that the Broncos are paying Melvin Gordon on a multi-year deal, and less than 50 percent of the one-year, $8.48 million that the Cardinals will pay Kenyan Drake for one season. But what would a team give the Jaguars for one year with Fournette, along with the ability to pick up a fifth-year option (before May 3) at $8.48 million for 2021?

Fournette had a solid third season, with 1,152 rushing yards and 522 receiving yards. But he is and has always been, as one source with knowledge of the dynamics put it, a “pain in the ass.”

In fairness to Fournette, plenty of great players are pains in the ass. (Plenty of non-great players also, pains in the ass.) The challenge becomes having the coaching and the player leadership that will influence the player to not be a pain in the ass.

So which team(s) need a downhill, between-the-tackles runner who can make real contributions in the passing game, and who would set aside any pain-in-the-ass tendencies based on the team and coach he plays for, and the teammates he plays with?

This one is simple: The Chiefs.

Although Damien Williams had a solid season in Kansas City, the Chiefs lack the kind of threat at running back that would give their offense true balance. Really, given the presence of Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Sammy Watkins, the Chiefs should have more than 1,569 rushing yards as a team, and a leading rusher with more than 498. (Mahomes had 218.)

Last year, the Chiefs paid LeSean McCoy $3 million, after the Bills made him a surprise cut on Labor Day weekend. As the season progressed, McCoy fell out of favor, to the point where he didn’t even dress in the Super Bowl. Fournette, with much more tread on the tires and only $1.1 million more in salary for 2020, would make a ton of sense — especially given the potential influence of coach Andy Reid, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, and safety Tyrann Mathieu.

Mathieu, like Fournette, played at LSU. They grew up in the same New Orleans neighborhood. If any teammate is ever going to get Fournette pointed in the right direction, it’s going to be Mathieu.

Other potential options for Fournette that would have the potential ingredients to maximize his skills and minimize his potential disruptions would be the Steelers (who have struggled to replace Le'Veon Bell), the Eagles (despite Miles Sanders‘ aspirations to be another Christian McCaffrey), the Rams (who desperately need a post-Todd Gurley workhorse), the Buccaneers (#Tommy), and the Seahawks (who possibly would get in on the Fournette bidding just to keep him from the Rams).

Some of you also may be thinking about the Saints, given that Fournette could become the better-than-Latavius-Murray complement to Alvin Kamara. The Saints, however, owe Murray $3.2 million in guaranteed pay for 2020. So unless the Saints would be able to find a trade partner for Murray, they likely wouldn’t jump into the fray for Fournette.

Regardless, $4.1 million for a guy who generated 1,674 yards from scrimmage for a team with a work-in-progress passing game should result in plenty interest — and the Chiefs given their current tailback situation should be among the most interested.

55 responses to “Chiefs should consider making a run at Leonard Fournette

  1. Add him if he gets cut, but no way should they spend a draft pick for a one year rental. They’ll need cheap players from the draft to manage their cap.

  2. No trades, the core of this team is there and they’re going to start having to pay the big names and surround them with cheaper draft picks and role players.

    They managed to keep almost every significant player fromt he Super Bowl roster in a year that consistancy and familiarity is going to be significantly more valuable than it already was.

  3. Chiefs dont need him, Bucs do though as establishing a run game for Brady should be a priority. I feel like the Bucs are gonna draft Jonathon Taylor in round 2 of the draft though, we’ll see I guess.

  4. Why ? He’s fat , bad attitude, one dimension back , and wants a new contract , makes no sense .

  5. If the asking price is a 6th round pick, teams should be interested. Maybe a 5th if a team has multiple picks in the mid-late rounds. Anything higher than that and it probably isn’t worth it. Having him come in as a smash mouth/goal line back does have intrigue.

  6. I don’t see why a team that just won the Super Bowl, and whose roster is almost fully intact (a rare bit of good fortune for a SB-winning team), would need or want to reach for a dubious RB like Fournette.

    There are some great RBs in the draft who would do just as well as he would, and cost a lot less for years to come.

    And if McCoy fell out of favor, it’s tough to make a case that a guy like Fournette wouldn’t.

  7. Or maybe the Chiefs will draft a RB who isn’t a pain in the ass for the same draft compensation it would take to get Fournette (plus they’d have him for 4 years not 1)?

  8. The Chiefs can make any RB look like a pro bowler as long as Mahomes is on the field. They can get a solid RB in the 4th or 5th round. I’m not sold on the idea of bringing guys into the locker room that might not be real mature.

  9. The best bet for the Chiefs would be to grab a back in the draft (Swift, Taylor, Moss, Dobbins to name a few) I have a feeling you could do a better job of getting one of them ingrained with the “Chief’s / Andy Reid way” of doing things then Fournette.

  10. The Jaguars have become the farm system for the real NFL teams. We are what the Kansas City Athletics were for the Yankees back in the late 50s/early 60s except that we are spreading it around to all the top teams.

  11. Astute comments that the Chiefs could get a good back in this draft, that is younger and less expensive than Fournette, and that they would have for at least 4 yrs, instead of a likely 1-yr rental player. And Fournette has always been something of a malcontent, which a SB-winning team does not need to bring in.

  12. No they should draft a younger version. The tread on his tire is already showing. You trade for him you will get at most 1 good year out of him

  13. He’s not getting cut. Jax would be on the hook for his entire contract if they cut him. Also, it doesn’t have to be a rental. If they pick up his fifth year, any team that trades for him would get him for two seasons.

  14. he gets caught from behind IF he makes it to the secondary. trust me and pity me. I’m a Jags season ticket holder…

  15. 5th round pick for a 1 year rental sounds like the right price. Maybe a 4th.
    Obviously you’re not signing him to a long-term deal.

  16. Nah. Keep their picks and add to their defense. If KC gets a killer defense, along with Mahomes and that offense… Jesus. Like another poster said, add him if he gets cut. The Chiefs are in a position where they can draft BPA. No need to waste even ONE PICK trading for somebody else’s problem.

  17. Not seeing how this would work with the salary cap and having to pay Mahomes a record setting contract. Unless they cut everyone else and replace them with XFL players.

    We’ve seen this before. Success, QB/RB/WR get huge contracts, team stops winning or at least rolling deep in the playoffs. We’ve seen that with the Giants, Colts from the Peyton Manning days, Packers, recently Seattle. The only real defiance to it was the Patriots, with Brady taking well below market deals so the rest of the team would have decent players.

  18. How can you not like the Chiefs. Best name in football, coach is a teddy bear, QB is dynamic, fans are top notch….and this is coming from a die hard Seahawk fan.

  19. why would you waste another pick when you need them so badly into a longstanding cap hell and about to lose Chris Jones?

    just draft an rb or two!

  20. Jax would be on the hook for his entire contract if they cut him.
    Actually it's not all that bad. They'd take a $4.4 million dead cap hit,… trade or release.
    I think someone will offer a late 3rd or early 4th round pick for Fournette.
    And just to keep peace in the locker room,… I think I'd make that trade.
    He had character issues coming out of LSU. Jacksonville took a chance,… and it didn't work out. A Leopard doesn't change his spots. Right ?

  21. Why? First, he doesn’t exactly fit their offense. They need a RB who can catch passes and block in pass protection. Fournette is a one-skill guy and the Chiefs are built around the passing game. They would do better to sign a Darren Sproles type guy that can do many things.

    Second, they are squeezed on the salary cap so why pay a malcontent $4M this year only to see him walk next year when he wants $10M/yr?

    Third, he just threw his own QB under the bus so why would any team want this guy? It would only be a matter of time before he starts whining about not getting more carries and being taken out in the passing game.

    However, he’s playing for a contract so I expect he will put up big numbers this year. Still, I wouldn’t trade any future value for a guy they’d only have for one year.

  22. Why pay a rb 4.1 million when you find one in the draft for 3/4 of that the offense is not an issue for kc top notch coaching and players big respect for what they do

  23. 2 years ago…Jaguars had 4th and Goal from the 1 inch line…the QB simply coulda hiked the ball and it would’ve been a TD…but No…they handed off to Fournette who had a clear path to the Endzone…if not for a falling/diving Titans defender who happened to get 1 finger on Fournette’s shoe strings…and the big oaf fell down and did not score!!!…#Pathetic

    The next play Derrick Henry scores a 99yd TD run…lolol

  24. Dude will never get the big contract. He actually could end up having a nice career as part of a 1-2 punch running game in the right system once he realizes hes not gonna be “the guy”.

    Looking at him as a #4 overall and of course he was a bad pick…
    The NFL no longer values him as that way and once he realizes that…might have a Mark Ingram type career.

  25. The Chiefs definitely don’t need him, and neither do the Seahawks. Some of other teams you mentioned make sense: Philly, Pitt, TB, LAR.

    You mentioned a lot of great players are pains in the ass. Unfortunately for Fournette, he’s a solid – not great – player.

  26. The Chiefs are on their way down not up, and yes I just went there. They won’t even make it back to the playoffs this season…Yes I just said that

  27. Surprise the PATS scoop him up. Gives the QB relief! With Brady gone don’t be surprised to see the PATS completely change their offense style.

  28. Or he could retire and become something he’s a “natural” at… a players union rep;

  29. The KC system of rotating backs works for them. Fournette needs multiple carries to be “effective”.

    Fournette is a plodding runner with limited visibility and not a real breakaway threat. His 1,000 yards seasons are a byproduct of the teams being run heavy, Marty -ball style offense, not because he is this exceptional runner.

  30. This is one of the dumbest potential moves I’ve ever heard. With the exception of last year, Fournette has been hurt every year of his career from high school to 2018. You don’t pay RB’s. Instead the Chiefs could save any potential draft picks that they would trade and instead pick Dobbins, Swift, or wait a little later and get Akers. You wouldn’t have to pay them and could still get excellent production. Mahomes is the motor in that offense. You can surround him with good players instead of great players and win the Super Bowl as we have seen.

  31. The Chiefs dont have the cap space to sign a 4 million dollar player. They have 323,000 in free space unless they dump a player to make this move.

  32. He’s missed 12/48 pro games by I jury or suspension. His numbers look decent because he’s been given high volume but watch him on any given Sunday. For a big running back he runs with little power and has terrible vision. I also question his dedication to the game. Before the nfl he was the best player on the field now that the playing field has leveled out he’s jag. Why trade for a malcontent who’s going to think he’s worth McCaffrey money when you can cut bait and start fresh and cheaper? Hate to say it but it’s how rbs are treated.

  33. Why ? He’s fat , bad attitude, one dimension back , and wants a new contract , makes no sense .
    He caught 76 passes last year. Not exactly one dimensional in my book.

  34. I wholeheartedly disagree. It is likely the Chiefs could get a similar player in the draft for far less (both monetarily and draft-pick-wise) that would not be a distraction in the locker room.

  35. He doesn’t fit what the chiefs do. He’s a classical point of entry power gap scheme running back. He never has done well in all the horizonal shotgun schemes. Put him in an offense that runs power football and play action. Actually he would fit very well in Tampa Bay IMO.

  36. I disagree. Williams is a better receiver than Fournette and he knows the offense well. He did have a solid season and he will be back as the #1 back in K.C. His receiving ability gives the offense plenty of balance.

  37. This might be the worst idea I’ve ever heard in my life. They can get a guy anywhere in the first 3 or 4 rounds who’s cheaper, better, and not a jerk.

  38. I think the Jags should package Ngakoue and Fournette with pick 9 in a trade up with the Lions. Fournette might not have much stand alone trade value, but he is an interesting piece in a package. If the Jags trade those two (they may have also have to add a 4th), they could jump up and take Tua or Herbert. Minshew is not the long-term answer.

    The lions would upgrade from kerryon Johnson, get a stud on the d line, and get either another starting defender, or an o line upgrade at 9.

  39. Chiefs are too smart to make a move like this. They signed McCoy because they needed him. They have 3 quality RB in Williams and Williams and the kid they just picked up from Oakland. Not to mention their 6th rd pick from last yr . They need to go C/OG first round or CB and the other in 2nd rd . RUN IT BACK BABY

  40. Nope. He’s not worth the trade capital. Besides, you may not like Williams but he’s perfect for that team. Fouirnette has demonstrated that he’s not a team player.

  41. The guy had close to 1700 total yards last year and people are saying he is not good, KC has better RB?? Injuries have been a concern but he has had two really good seasons in three years. Not saying they should get up a lot considering he could be a 1 year rental but the guy is better than what they have by far.

    2019 (15 games)
    1152 rush yards, 3td, 80.0 ypg
    502 receiving yards, 0td, 34.8 ypg

    2018 (8 games)
    439 rush yards, 5td, 54.9 ypg
    185 receiving yards, 1td, 23.1 ypg

    2017 (13 games)
    1040 rush yards, 9td, 76.6 ypg
    302 receiving yards, 1td, 23.2 ypg

  42. bkinacti0n says:
    April 19, 2020 at 1:45 pm
    The Chiefs definitely don’t need him, and neither do the Seahawks. Some of other teams you mentioned make sense: Philly, Pitt, TB, LAR.

    You mentioned a lot of great players are pains in the ass. Unfortunately for Fournette, he’s a solid – not great – player.


    Nearly 1700 total yards is pretty damn good and he is just entering his 4th season.

    Eagles have Miles Sanders and they love Boston Scott. They are not giving up picks for Fournette.

  43. tylawspick6 says:
    April 19, 2020 at 12:40 pm
    why would you waste another pick when you need them so badly into a longstanding cap hell and about to lose Chris Jones?

    Speaking of “cap hell”….your favorite teams doesn’t even have enough cap space to pay 1-2 rookies…. Is BB planning to cut Gilmore or simply trade all his draft picks?

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