Leonard Fournette Release is Bad News For Gardner Minshew

Gardner Minshew, II
Gardner Minshew | Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars have released (star?) running back Leonard Fournette on Monday morning. Fournette is coming off a career year where he played in 15 games and had more than 1,600 yards from scrimmage. This comes a day after the Jaguars traded Yannick Ngakoue and is the clearest sign yet Jacksonville is preparing to tank the season for a shot at Trevor Lawrence.

This is bad news for Gardner Minshew. As a rookie, Minshew was a pleasant surprise for Jacksonville, throwing 21 touchdown passes and just six interceptions as the Jaguars were a .500 team with him under center. Now they got rid of Fournette, their leading rusher and an excellent pass blocker. And some college kid is going to take Minshew's job a year from now. Not great!

It's a testament to how quickly the NFL moves on if a team is not well run. Thirty-two months ago they were in the AFC Championship Game, nearly beating the New England Patriots. Now most of the key players from that team are gone, including quarterback Blake Bortles, who had three losing seasons before the Jags made that AFCCG run. Bortles was replaced by Nick Foles who got hurt immediately and was replaced by Minshew and now the Jaguars appear ready to move on again.

So what happens to Minshew? Does he take a beating this year and then compete with Lawrence next season? He's 24 with three years and less than $3 million left on his contract. Could the Jaguars possibly trade him? Considering the Jaguars apparently tried for months to trade Fournette, who knows?

Maybe the Jags will simply sit Minshew if his general competence is deemed a threat to the Jaguars' draft pick. If there was ever a time to roll with Mike Glennon at quarterback, it's when fans can't attend games.