The Jaguars and national media and fans are having a field day discussing the inexplicable waiving of Leonard Fournette.
With running back Leonard Fournette being waived today, it totals up three years the Jaguars took to rid themselves of all the important pieces on the 2017 roster. Check the roster for that year and all the best players are gone. That year was the most exciting year for the Black and Teal fans in a very long time.
The Jaguars were so close to the Super Bowl. In 2018 the team imploded. It was convenient to blame Tom Coughlin for this but it’s obvious that the underlying issues involved more than just Coughlin.
For all intents and purposes, the number one issue the team needed to address after 2017 was the very poor quarterback play of Blake Bortles. The team responded to this criticism by giving him a new contract and expressing confidence in his ability. He played even worse in 2018 and the team took a huge monetary hit in order to release him.
There were locker room issues in 2017 as well. This toxic atmosphere continued and the problem was Dante Fowler according to some team sources. So…Fowler is sent to the Rams and has a very solid season.
Jalen Ramsey was another locker room issue and was also traded to the Rams, and yet the locker room atmosphere remained toxic in 2019 with both those “trouble makers“ gone.
Yannick Ngakoue, Jacksonville’s best pass rusher, wanted a new contract and eventually got into a Twitter war with Tony Kahn. He refused to report in 2020 and the Jaguars gave him away for a second and fifth-round draft choice.
Immediately after giving away Ngakoue, the Jaguars cut their only consistent offensive weapon, running back Leonard Fournette. Although he is not the prototypical 2020 NFL running back, he performed well in 2019 and added pass receiving to his skill set. Fournette could have, should have been a key player for the Jags this season.
Fournette topped 1,000 yards rushing in two of his first three seasons and caught more than 70 passes in 2019. There have been no issues during camp and he has been slated as the number one back in all the drills. To add insult to injury Doug Marrone made it very clear that no team would give a draft choice for him. That may be true but it’s not a positive comment by a head coach about his player.
The team gossip insinuates a “Tank for Trevor” strategy behind these moves, trying to secure the number one draft pick spot this year to swoop in and grab Clemson superstar quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Would Lawrence be a nice addition to the club? Certainly. Do fans want to see the Jags throw away an entire season to get him? Doubtful.
All these moves were made by the team general manager Dave Caldwell. In fact, he is the only consistent person in charge of this devolving of the Jaguars. Caldwell refused to negotiate with Ramsey, gave Bortles a contract extension, asked too high a price for Ngakoue at the beginning, and managed to deflect the team issues to a future Hall of Fame candidate in Tom Coughlin.
True Jaguars fans love this team and its players, but it would seem management has shown both favoritism and bad judgment in making moves involving players who have the most impact on the franchise. It’s time perhaps that fans see the Jaguars front office treat all the players with the respect they deserve.