Raiders: after a 10-6 campaign a season ago, the Jacksonville Jaguars seem to be spinning out of control. One player at the center of the drama is star running back Leonard Fournette. Joining Fournette in the chaos in Jacksonville is fellow running back TJ Yeldon where the two were allegedly “disengaged from coaches and teammates” according to ESPN. After the incident, Tom Coughlin said in regards to running backs that “They were disrespectful, selfish and unbecoming of a professional football player.”
After the season concluded, the Jaguars fired a multitude of offensive personnel and it is unclear exactly which direction they are headed as far as their roster is concerned but things don’t look good.
Not only did Coughlin call them out publicly, the team has also sent strong signals they are ready to move on by voiding all guaranteed money remaining on Fournette’s contract after instigating a fight against the Bills earlier in the season. Fournette will now miss out on $7.1 million with the Jaguars.
If Jacksonville elects to move on from Fournette, the Raiders should make a trade. The current situation at running back for Oakland is an interesting one with aging veterans like Doug Martin and Marshawn Lynch to a possible rising star like Chris Warren, all the way to the tandem of Jalen Richard and Deandre Washington.
Despite coming on strong towards the end of the season, Martin didn’t show enough flash to be a No. 1 running back moving forward in my opinion. However, Martin is one of Gruden’s prized possessions, so I won’t be shocked if he is retained. If Oakland were to make a move to acquire Fournette it would likely mean the end of Beast Mode with the Raiders. Lynch is also a free agent, so if he doesn’t retire, his tenure moving forward with the Silver and Black isn’t a guarantee either.
Out of Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington, I suspect only one is kept for 2019. Based on usage from this past season, I’d guess Richard is brought back as he touched the ball 90 more times than Washington while also appearing in six more games. That leaves us with Chris Warren, who I would see as the No. 2 option with Richard as the third down and situational player with Fournette as the workhorse running back.
After having a solid rookie season where Fournette eclipsed the 1,000-yard marker and scored nine touchdowns, his production dwindled in year No. 2. This was in part of a myriad of issues ranging from injuries, suspensions and an average of four fewer carries per game. With a plethora of draft picks at the disposal of new GM Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden, this could be a perfect opportunity to buy low on a young player with a massive upside.