Jaguars needn’t worry about longevity with Leonard Fournette

Jaguars needn’t worry about longevity with Leonard Fournette

By: Hays Carlyon

Two seasons.

That’s the maximum amount of time running back Leonard Fournette has left with the Jaguars.

The plan should be to run Fournette as often as they like for two years and then wave goodbye.

There’s no reason to track Fournette’s carries anymore. No need to worry about managing his workload to preserve his longevity.

Mileage? Who cares?

This is a player who will be long gone here by the time he’s 27.

The former fourth-overall pick in the NFL Draft has two more years remaining on his $27-million rookie contract. There’s no chance the Jaguars pick up his fifth-year option.

Fournette skipped another voluntary OTA practice on Tuesday. He has missed the last four.

There are only 10 of these.

At best, Fournette will attend 60 percent of the OTAs. If he doesn’t come back until next week’s mandatory minicamp, he’ll come in at 40 percent.

For a player in Fournette’s situation, that’s dumbfounding.

Fournette has been a headache for the majority of his two seasons with the Jaguars.

He is talented, but he isn’t a star. However, too often he acts like he’s the offensive version of cornerback Jalen Ramsey. He’s not even in the same galaxy as Ramsey as an NFL talent.

He’s already had the team void his remaining guaranteed money, been suspended for a game by the NFL, been ejected from a game and been declared inactive (basically suspended by the team) for a game as a rookie.

He’s been lax in learning the playbook over his first two seasons. Now, there’s a new scheme under offensive coordinator John DeFilippo and he’s missing significant practice time.

DeFilippo wants to turn this attack over to Fournette. This is what he said about Fournette on May 23.

“I’m going to call it what it is, he’s going to be a major reason for where our offense goes,” DeFilippo said. “I’m not going to sugarcoat that. Leonard Fournette needs to be a big part of this offense. The harder he works, which he is right now, I think that’s not only going to be good for our offense, but good for our team.”

This is Jaguars new running backs coach Terry Robiskie on May 24 talking about Fournette.

“It was interesting sitting down talking to him and listening to him say, ‘Coach, I want to be the best running back in the NFL,” Robiskie said. “Coach, I want to rush for 2,000 yards. Coach, I want to lead these team. Coach, I want to take these team, I want to take this city to the Super Bowl. Coach, I want to be a part of this when this city goes to the Super Bowl. I want to be a part of it. I want to lead it. I don’t want to be a part of the puzzle. I want to be the puzzle.’”

Well, the puzzle isn’t here.

And that’s puzzling.

How could a player in Fournette’s situation not take full advantage of this opportunity?

Missing one session isn’t a big deal. Missing four? Come on.

Quarterback Nick Foles dealt with a personal tragedy and missed one.

These OTAs provided Fournette the opportunity to start to rebuild trust with the front office and coaching staff. He’s only made it worse.

Unfortunately, it looks like Fournette will never get it. He’ll likely never turn the corner when it comes to professionalism.

There’s no point in cutting Fournette yet. When he’s here, he looks good.

The Jaguars should take the approach that they have a talented player who they don’t have a long-term future with in terms of a second contract.

Run him ragged and move on.

(You can email Hays at haysc@1010xl.com and follow him on Twitter @HaysCarlyon).