The Jaguars had trade talks involving running back Leonard Fournette before and during the draft. It didn’t happen, and the team is now moving forward with the fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft.
“There were just some minor discussions with that but nothing substantial throughout the draft or prior to the draft,” G.M. Dave Caldwell told the #PFTPM podcast on Monday. “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 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.”
Last year, Fournette had more than 1,600 yards from scrimmage. But the Jaguars are in the process of implementing a new offense, one that possibly won’t be the best possible fit for Fournette.
There’s also a question of fit between Fournette and quarterback Gardner Minshew II. Fournette had publicly lobbied the team to sign Cam Newton, and coach Doug Marrone has acknowledged that the two players will have to find a way to work things out.
“I’m sure they’ll be on the same page they’re both professional guys, and I’m sure a lot of it was taken out of context from my understanding,” Caldwell said. “Gardner’s a tremendous leader and I think Leonard will do his best and put his best foot forward I don’t, to my knowledge, I don’t know what’s taken place but I’m sure it won’t be an issue.”
It’s a bit of a stretch to say Fournette’s comments were taken out of context; he made a pitch for Newton to join the team. While in theory there’s still a chance Newton will, Fournette and his $4.1 million fully-guaranteed salary with no offset language apparently will be going nowhere.