The Seattle Seahawks should not look at signing running back Leonard Fournette.
The Seattle Seahawks like to run more than other teams, but that doesn’t mean they just want to throw a bunch of different running backs at doing so and see what sticks. Seattle wants talent more than anything. That said, Leonard Fournette is a talented back, but he has also underwhelmed his first three seasons after being taken fourth overall in the 2017 NFL draft.
Maybe that isn’t all Leonard Fournette’s problem. He has played on some mostly not great offenses since he joined the league and played for the Jacksonville Jaguars. In his rookie season of 2017, the Jaguars were good. But the last two years the Jaguars offense has ranked 24th (2018) and 26th (2019) in points.
Fournette’s best rushing average came last year where he had 4.3 yards a carry on 265 rushes. But he only had 3 touchdowns. He did catch 76 passes, by far his carer high, but again he had no touchdowns. This means in 341 touches, Leonard Fournette scored just 3 times last year, or less than one percent of the time he had the football in his hands.
Leonard Fournette and the open market
What is telling about Leonard Fournette is that even though he ranked sixth in the NFL in total yards last year, no one wanted to trade for him this offseason. At least, that is what Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said on Monday.
Fournette might have been used so much in Jacksonville because they didn’t have much else. Plus, him being used as much as he was (3rd in 2019 and 6th in 2017) and the fact that running backs tend to wear down more quickly than other players in today’s NFL, might mean Fournette doesn’t actually have a lot left in the proverbial tank.
And the other issue with Fournette could be his use in 2020. The Seahawks are going to start Chris Carson and his backup will be Carlos Hyde. Seattle doesn’t really need Leonard Fournette. If the Seahawks do sign him, will he be non-plussed if he doesn’t get a lot of carries?
Even if none of the above applies, the Seahawks need to spend what cap space they currently have on someone who isn’t a running back. Maybe someone like Jadeveon Clowney. Seattle could make the Super Bowl this year with the right late-training camp signings and a third running back simply isn’t going to have that much impact.