Leonard Fournette came out of college as one of the most touted running back prospects in recent memory and lived up to the hype his rookie season. His sophomore season has been a shell of his first.
With the running back missing time due to injuries and suspensions, 11 games in two years to be exact, the Jaguars actually found themselves winning more games with him out of the lineup than when he was available.
Sitting out of the Jaguars’ final game Sunday due to a foot/ankle injury, Fournette upset team general manager Tom Coughlin with his demeanor on the bench during Jacksonville’s 20-3 loss to the Texans. Coughlin ripped him and fellow RB T.J. Yeldon for being “disrespectful” and “selfish,” adding that “their behavior was unbecoming of a professional football player.”
The news was just the latest in a string of self-inflicted issues for Fournette, as it was revealed after the game that the team had voided his contract guarantees in his four-year rookie contract due to the suspension for fighting he was issued in November.
According to the Associated Press, a team captain and the centerpiece of the team’s offense, Fournette is due to make $7.1 million in the final two years of what had been a fully guaranteed, four-year rookie deal worth $27.15 million. The AP also noted that if Fournette fails to successfully appeal the void, the Jaguars could cut him without incurring any future financial obligations. It also might make trading for him more attractive to other teams considering the reduced financial risk.
Fournette ran for only 439 yards and five touchdowns in eight games this season, averaging a mere 3.3 yards per carry, one of the lowest among all running backs in the NFL.