“There have been only a few minor discussions with this but nothing substantial throughout the project or before the project,” said general manager Dave Caldwell on the PFT PM podcast. “I think the state of mind is that we are going to go ahead with Leonard on the team. I had a good conversation with him on Friday. I know the coach [Doug] Marrone had a chat with him.
“He seems to be in great shape and mentality, and we think he will have a great season this year. “
The Jaguars had until Monday to decide if they wanted to choose the ball carrier for the 2021 season. Jacksonville would have paid Fournette, the No. 4 pick in the 2017 NFL draft, $ 8.43 million in 2021 under this option.
The LSU product entered the NFL after one of the most successful university careers in its recent memory, but only ran for 2,631 yards and 17 touchdowns in three seasons in the NFL.
He finished the 2019 season, however, with a career high of 1,152 yards and had three touchdowns, three rushed touchdowns last season. He also caught 76 passes for 522 yards last season.
Fournette was the first pick made by Tom Coughlin, then executive vice president of football operations in 2017. Coughlin, however, was laid off last December.
Jacksonville also added attacking midfielder Chris Thompson on Friday.
The Jaguars finished the 2019 season with a 6-10 record.
Analysis by JaguarReport’s John Shipley: After last month’s project without Leonard Fournette’s potential business materializing, it became clear that Fournette would be in the image of the Jaguars – at least in 2020.
Currently, the only other players in Jacksonville’s backfield are Ryquell Armstead, Devine Ozigbo and Chris Thompson. The Jaguars appear to be up to their second year back pair at Armstead and Ozigbo, and Thompson, who just signed with the team last week, has years of experience with new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. Despite this, none of these three players has ever carried the load of the racing game for a team like Fournette in the past. Even if the team refuses his fifth year option, Fournette still has experience as a workhorse and it looks like the Jaguars will need him to be back in 2020.