The Jaguars' rebuild has already seen a few notable players shipped out of town, and it might not end there.
Jacksonville has had trade talks centered around Leonard Fournette for more than a month and circled back with teams in the last three days, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per sources informed of the situation. While there aren't yet any takers, it could be a sign Fournette is headed elsewhere before the 2020 season begins, Rapoport added.
Fournette's career has been an interesting one to say the least. Selected fourth overall out of LSU in 2017, Fournette was supposed to be a catalytic piece to a burgeoning Jacksonville powerhouse. These Jaguars were loaded on defense and had a solid pass-catching corps; all they needed was a workhorse in the backfield.
In a league that's overly dependent on the play of the quarterback, Fournette learned rather quickly how a lack of adequate performance at the position can spur massive change. Jacksonville's bright future burned up too quickly, resulting in a disappointing 2018, a 2019 fraught with injury and internal disputes and a rapid remaking of the roster at the start of a new decade.
Fournette himself has seen his fair share of ups and downs. The running back who rushed for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie hasn't met that scoring mark again in his last two seasons combined, thanks in no small part to his half of a season missed in 2018 -- you know, when everything spun out of control for the Jaguars -- which included a one-game suspension for a fight with Shaq Lawson in a game against Buffalo. He drew the ire of former executive Tom Coughlin on more than one occasion, which would help explain Jacksonville's surveying of league interest in the running back if, you know, Coughlin was still there.
Fournette had his best season of his career in 2019 in terms of total yards and rushing yards per carry, but it didn't help the Jaguars re-enter the national conversation. He's obviously still a very good runner with his best years ahead of him (provided he can stay healthy) and appears to be adding something to his versatility as evidenced by his increased volume of targets and resulting career-high mark in receiving yards in 2019. He's also fstill ocused on winning, of course, campaigning publicly last week for the Jaguars to explore adding free-agent quarterback Cam Newton.
The haul could include a chance to move up in the draft, perhaps to select a highly touted quarterback, even with Gardner Minshew returning for his second season. Or it could just be a gauging of the market for the running back. After all, there's nothing wrong with getting a fresh appraisal to figure out where you stand.