Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette was arrested Thursday for driving with a suspended license and released a short time later.
Fournette paid a $1,508 bond and was freed after spending less than 30 minutes in the Duval County Jail, according to jail records.
Fournette was pulled over after a Jacksonville Sheriff’s deputy clocked him driving 65 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to the police report. Fournette was cited for speeding and for having illegal tint on his SUV. He was arrested for the suspended license.
The arresting officer recalled pulling Fournette over last July for driving 80 mph in a 45 mph zone, the report said. The officer issued Fournette a written warning for reckless driving — he was allegedly weaving in and out of traffic — not having his driver’s license and having illegal tint on a different car.
Fournette’s license was suspended last month after he failed to pay or protest a speeding ticket from November 2018, court records show. Fournette was cited in nearby Neptune Beach for driving 37 mph in a 25 mph zone.
The Jaguars said in a statement they “are aware of the situation involving Leonard Fournette and are continuing to gather more information. No further comment will be provided at this time.”
The arrest is the latest issue for Fournette , the fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft who was injured, suspended and on the bench in crunch time last season. He also was fined, criticized and admittedly not in ideal shape late in the year.
Most telling, the Jaguars voided the remaining guarantees in Fournette’s four-year rookie contract worth $27.1 million. The team made the move following Fournette’s weeklong suspension in late November for instigating a fight in Buffalo.
Fournette has challenged the decision, which could cost him up to $7.1 million. The one-week suspension already cost him nearly $100,000 in salary.
Fournette also drew the team’s ire when he and fellow running back T.J. Yeldon spent most of the season finale — a 20-3 loss at Houston — on the bench and disengaged from coaches and teammates.
Personnel chief Tom Coughlin ripped both players for being “disrespectful” and “selfish.”
Fournette had a lengthy meeting with Coughlin and coach Doug Marrone after the season in hopes of clearing the air and staring anew.
“I have full confidence in him,” Coughlin said last month. “He does have some things he’s got to prove when he comes back about his preparation, but he’s a young, young player. He loves football, had an outstanding year, had a very disappointing year. We want him to be a great player and I think he’s in the same mindset.”
Fournette has missed 11 games in two seasons because of injuries and suspensions. The former LSU star ran for 439 yards and five touchdowns in eight games last season after running for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie.
Fournette had been working out in Wyoming with LSU’s former LSU strength and conditioning coordinator.
He likely returned to Jacksonville in time for the team’s offseason conditioning program, which begins Monday.
The Jags have revamped their running backs room in hopes of helping Fournette. They fired position coach Tyrone Wheatley , released running back Carlos Hyde and let Yeldon and Corey Grant leave in free agency. They hired 64-year-old Terry Robiskie, who, like Fournette, was born and raised in New Orleans and attended LSU, as running backs coach. They also signed veteran Alfred Blue (another LSU alum) to be Fournette’s backup.
The New York Jets are the latest team to host a visit for former Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware, according to a tweet from Jets beat reporter Rich Cimini of ESPN.
Ware (5-10, 229) is in the process of trying to find his next NFL contract after reaching free agency on March 13. If Ware signed with the Jets, he’d be joining a running back room that includes Le’Veon Bell, De’Angelo Henderson, Trenton Cannon, and Elijah McGuire. The Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions have also reportedly hosted Ware on visits in recent weeks.
Ware, 27, is in his sixth NFL season after being selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of LSU. He lasted just one season with the Seahawks, in which he had three carries for 10 yards, then eventually caught on with the Chiefs in late 2014. Ware began to see playing time in 2015 and had 72 carries for 403 yards and six touchdowns in 11 games, then he took over the starting spot in 2016, rushing for 921 yards and three touchdowns while catching 33 passes for 447 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games.
Ware headed towards the 2017 season as the expected starter at running back, although Kareem Hunt was looming in the rear view mirror after the Chiefs traded up to select him in Round 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft. But Ware’s path took a significant detour during a preseason game against the Seahawks last August when he suffered a significant knee injury that ended his 2017 season and opened the door for Hunt to establish himself as the starter the Kansas City backfield.
Ware’s knee injury, which included damage to his PCL and LCL, was unusual and required an extensive amount of time for recovery, but he worked his way back to being in a position to play in the 2018 preseason and wound up being the number two back over Damien Williams and Darrel Williams.
“There was a question exactly whether he’d be able to come back from that injury,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said of Ware on November 12. “That was a pretty tough injury to come back from. But you know the kid, you go, ‘Well, if anybody can do it, he can do this.’ He bared down, got after it, and Rick [Chiefs vice president of sports medicine and performance Rick Burkholder] and the trainers worked with him, and he was here every day doing his thing and very diligent with it. So when he goes out and plays, you go ‘whoa’ and he’s able to score a touchdown. That’s a great thing. The last couple weeks, he’s played good football. You see where he’s more confident here each week here that he’s playing.”
After the Chiefs decided to release Hunt due to off-field issues in November of 2018, Ware took over the starting role for a brief time before a hamstring injury sidelined him for the final three games of the regular season. He finished the 2018 season with 51 carries for 246 yards and two touchdowns, along with 224 receiving yards on 20 catches. There hasn’t been much hint of interest publicly on the Chiefs’ end in re-signing Ware, who if he stayed in Kansas City would be competing for a spot with Damien Williams, Darrel Williams and free agent signing Carlos Hyde.