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Leonard Fournette’s NFL career has been a series of ups and downs since he was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 4th overall pick back in 2017.
He lasted three years in Jacksonville before the team decided they had had enough, releasing him prior to last season.
The running back caught on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and while he wasn’t the feature back, he rushed for 367 and six scores, and he also had 36 receptions for 233 receiving yards for the eventual Super Bowl champions.
Fournette openly talked about the pain and shock of being released by the team that drafted him.
“I think when I got cut, it kind of just set me back to what I used to do,” Fournette said.
“You know, I had to get my rhythm back. It was bothering me all through the season when I got signed by the Buccaneers. Every day, I’m like, ‘Damn, I really got cut.’ So it was bothering me, too. So I had to just get my mind right, get adjusted. I was still new here, too.”
It appeared that Fournette was going to be a star for the Jags, as he rushed for 1,040 yards his rookie year, and then after playing in just eight games in 2018 due to injury, he rebounded and ran for 1,152 yards in 2019.
Jacksonville though went through a house cleaning prior to the start of last season, and Fournette was one of the casualties. His injuries and conduct were the two main reasons for his departure.
Now he’s in a much more stable environment with the Bucs and coach Bruce Arians, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him have an even bigger role with the team in 2021.