Leonard Fournette was waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Las Vegas Raiders need a bruising running back. Could both sides reach a mutually beneficial arrangement and produce a special backfield?
Fournette and the Raiders could be a good match
If the Raiders want to boost their running back room, Fournette could be an option. Josh Jacobs will be entrenched as the bell cow. However, head coach Jon Gruden is interested in adding a larger back to pair with Jacobs and convert short-yardage opportunities, pass protect, and catch the ball out of the backfield.
Currently, the Raiders have Jacobs, Devontae Booker, two pass-catching backs in Jalen Richard and Theo Riddick, Lynn Bowden Jr. the rookie. Ideally, the Raiders would carry four running backs including fullback Alec Ingold. With one signing the Raiders can simplify their backfield.
Leonard Fournette is easily the best available back with less than two weeks to the beginning of the season. When you put up the kind of numbers he does, it’s usually a precursor to getting paid. Last season, Fournette played in 82% of the offensive snaps, ran for 1152 yards and 3 TDS, and caught 76 passes for 522 yards in 15 games.
Money, Money, Money…
The Jacksonville Jaguars, the team which cut Fournette, are still on the hook for the final year of his rookie salary, $4.16M. Meaning, He can succeed where Antonio Brown failed, and line his pockets when he signs with another team. Getting paid by two teams in 2020 while in a contract year with a team of your choosing sounds pretty plush.
The question is, what does Fournette want to do? He can cherry-pick his best situation with only the smallest caveat. No matter where he goes, he has to pick up the playbook in a short amount of time. Having cleared waivers Tuesday morning, Fournette is now a free agent with a choice to make. Financially, he could elect to secure his own bag and put himself out there for the highest bidder. Or, he could take a gamble on a team with all the glitz and glamour of a new building and home, potential, and no state income tax.
The Raiders currently have roughly about $3.1 Million in available cap space. Signing Fournette to a $2/3 million dollar deal on top of the $4 million he’s getting from the Jaguars would allow the Raiders to cut two or three running backs. That would cease the need for three guys equal to what Fournette can do in a complementary role to Jacobs.
Top Photo: Douglas DeFelice/USA Today Sports
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