Coach Doug Marrone said Fournette won't face any team discipline for his recent arrest, Daniel Popper of The Athletic reports. Given that he was arrested for an unpaid speeding ticket, Fournette never figured to face discipline from the Jaguars or the NFL. Still, it isn't the best look for a player who seems to be on thin ice after a tumultuous 2018 campaign marked by injuries, weight gain, inefficient running (3.3 YPC) and a one-game suspension for an on-field brawl. The Jaguars used the suspension as justification to void the remaining guarantees in Fournette's rookie contract, but they've also made it a point to say he still has a future with the team. Jacksonville's offseason moves support that notion, as the depth chart behind Fournette contains Alfred Blue, Benny Cunningham, Dave Williams and Thomas Rawls -- not the most inspiring group. Of course, the Fournette trade rumors would regain steam in a hurry if the Jaguars were to use an early pick on a running back in the 2019 NFL Draft. The 24-year-old reportedly dropped some weight in the offseason and should be back around 220-230 pounds ahead of his third NFL campaign.
Fournette was arrested Thursday in Jacksonville in the aftermath of a traffic violation, Vic Micolucci of WJXT 4 reports. The arrest reportedly stems from an unpaid ticket from an incident dating back to last November, when Fournette was cited for driving 12 mph over the speed limit, per Justin Barney of WJXT 4. It's not certain if the running back will face discipline from the NFL.
Fournette appears to have the support of Jaguars executive vice president Tom Coughlin, who expects the running back to rebound in 2019, ESPN.com's Michael DiRocco reports. "I have full confidence in him," Coughlin said. "He does have some things he's got to prove when he comes back about his preparation, but he's a young player, he loves football, had an outstanding year, had a very disappointing year. We want him to be a great player and I think he's in the same mindset." Despite showing up for training camp at a svelte 223 pounds, Fournette struggled through a tumultuous sophomore campaign, putting on weight while he missed six games with a hamstring injury. He finished the year with just 3.3 yards per carry in eight games, missing Week 13 due to a suspension and Week 17 due to an ankle injury. His suspension prompted the Jaguars to void the guarantees in his contract, while his obvious disinterest in watching the season finale was met with harsh public criticism from Coughlin. The 24-year-old is filing an appeal to regain his contractual guarantees, but at the same time, he's reportedly making an honest effort to repair his relationship with the Jacksonville organization. Fournette met with Coughlin to clear the air shortly after the season and later traveled to Wyoming to work with his former strength and conditioning coach from LSU. With their former running backs Carlos Hyde (Chiefs) and T.J. Yeldon (free agent) headed elsewhere, the Jaguars seem confident in Fournette to serve as the top weapon in an offense quarterbacked by Nick Foles.
Fournette is spending the offseason working out in Wyoming with Ben Iannacchione, his former strength and conditioning coach from LSU, Phillip Heilman of the Florida Times-Union reports. "The Leonard I see now -- and, again, I wasn't around Leonard last year, still followed his career, noticed he missed some games last year -- but the Leonard that's here in Wyoming right now is very similar to the Leonard that I had at LSU," Iannacchione said. "If he continues with this mindset and this work ethic, I think everyone in Jacksonville is going to be pleasantly surprised." Following the turbulent disappointment of a season that was the Jaguars' 2018 campaign, Iannacchione said Fournette reached out to him so the running back could "get back to really training the way [Fournette] did when he felt he was at his best." Setting up at Iannocchione's new employer, the University of Wyoming, Fournette is probably serving himself well by isolating himself in a distraction-free environment. Considering Fournette entered the 2018 season 15 pounds lighter than he was in 2017 -- but then somehow proceeded to seem as sluggish as ever en route to a career-low 3.3 yards per carry -- reports of Fournette getting in shape probably won't hold much weight with fantasy owners any longer, but the value here, in any case, is the fact that Fournette appears focused on turning things around.
Fournette (ankle) and executive vice president Tom Coughlin recently met to discuss the running back's disappointing season, clearing the air in the process, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Among Fournette's low points in 2018, he seemed to gain weight while recovering from a hamstring injury in the first half of the season, received a one-game suspension for playing a leading role in a Week 12 brawl in Buffalo, and appeared to lack interest Week 17 as one of the Jaguars' inactive players. Regarding his performance, his output fell across the board, with the most significant development a reduction in his YPC from 3.9 as a rookie in 2017 to 3.3 this past season. The confluence of events was enough for Coughlin and the team's brass to void the guarantees on Fournette's rookie contract, which still holds true, according to Phillip Heilman of The Florida Times-Union. In the end, the hope is that the meeting will spur Fournette to show up to the offseason program and subsequent events on the calendar in great shape and ready to be the team's featured back.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/08||Kansas City Chiefs||31||23.78|
|6||10/13||New Orleans Saints||3||12.44|
|8||10/27||New York Jets||18||17.75|
|13||12/01||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||28||21.25|
|14||12/08||Los Angeles Chargers||24||20.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||200||740||7||29||244||1||146|