Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette is the runaway leader as the team’s Most Valuable Player this season.
It is a bit of a shock, at least to myself and possibly some other local writers who cover the team, that the discussion of Fournette’s future in town hasn’t become a topic of conversation of late. With one more season of a rookie deal in place, will management think about either picking up his fifth-year option prior to the 2020 season or will contract talks become an issue between the player and the team?
Since Fournette has become more of the focal point of this offense, as evident from his 1,152 yards rushing and 76 catches this season. Fournette’s biggest improvement though might be his pass blocking, which has saved Gardner Minshew from multiple sacks this season. This is without a doubt Fournette’s most complete season, one in which he has become a dual-threat in the Jaguars offense.
More from Jacksonville Jaguars News
- Jacksonville Jaguars should welcome Derrick Henry into the kingdom
- Jaguars Rumors: Trent Baalke seems to be getting respect now
- Jaguars News: This division rival might be making a big move
- Former Jacksonville Jaguars S Johnathan Cyprien: “New Profession, Same Standards”
- Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram officially gets the franchise tag: 3 takeaways
It’s also the reason he is the team’s MVP.
The Jaguars come in 27th in the latest ESPN.com NFL Power Rankings, a spot lower than last week. But the topic of conversation amongst the analysts this week has been the MVP for all 32 teams. Fournette might have been one of the more obvious choices.
"“There were questions about Fournette’s commitment, work ethic and maturity coming into the season, and he has answered them all. He has rushed for a career-high 1,152 yards (and counting) and his 1,674 scrimmage yards (and counting) are the fifth most in franchise history and the most since Maurice Jones-Drew’s franchise record of 1,908 set in 2011,” Michael DiRocco explains.“Fournette hasn’t missed a practice or a game and has become one of the team leaders. It hasn’t been a great season on the field for the Jaguars, but Fournette has been one of the few bright spots. Without him, they wouldn’t have won the five games they have.”"
Fournette’s production could be even better if not for a suspect offensive line and better play at quarterback. That’s part of the reoccurring pains of the 2019 season. Now, with 1,200 yards in his sights, the reality of a successful season for the former LSU star, which could include 80 receptions, is almost complete.
Jaguars defensive coordinator John DeFilippo told the media in OTAs Fournette would be the focal point of this offense and would be given the chance to touch the football plenty of times. That statement has rung true all year. And it could mean even more chances in 2020.
As Fournette continues to mature and the Jaguars hopefully get more weapons to play with on offense and repair the issues with the offensive line, Fournette could continue to be one of the more feared running backs in the league.
And with that, discussion of a contract extension will come, instead of wondering when the team may decide to part ways with their best offensive player this season.