Jaguars’ Marrone: No punishment for Fournette after arrest
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Marrone has no plans to punish running back Leonard Fournette following his arrest for driving with a suspended license.
Marrone made it clear Tuesday that Fournette made a mistake, saying “a law was broken,” but added that the team would have no further discipline for the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.
“I don’t want to get into where I stand here and I’m trying to lessen anything,” said Marrone, who was arrested for a similar issue in 1997. “But at the same time I don’t want to get into, ‘Oh my gosh,’”
Fournette was arrested last Thursday and spent less than 30 minutes in the Duval County Jail. He paid a $1,508 bond.
Fournette was pulled over after a Jacksonville Sheriff’s deputy clocked him driving 65 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to a police report. Fournette was cited for speeding and for having illegal tint on his SUV. He was arrested for his license, which was suspended last month after he failed to pay or protest a speeding ticket from November 2018.
Fournette was cited in nearby Neptune Beach last year for driving 37 mph in a 25 mph zone.
After spending most of the offseason working out in Wyoming, Fournette returned to Jacksonville last week in time for the start of the team’s offseason conditioning program. His arrest was the latest issue for the former LSU star who was suspended, fined, injured and acknowledged he was not in ideal shape late in the 2018 season.
“Nobody’s worried about what’s going to come from that,” veteran defensive end Calais Campbell said. “We’re confident that that’s going to pass over. He’s going to be ready to go to work. He came in in great shape. He looks good and has a good attitude, so I’m looking forward to seeing his progression and what he does this year.”
Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith were the only players not in attendance for the volunteer workouts. Marrone said he reached out to both players, “but I have not heard back from either.”
Campbell said their absences were no big deal.
“Those are two guys I’m not worried about,” Campbell said. “Those are guys I know who are going to come back in tiptop shape, focused and ready to go. I know they’re grinding, their work ethic. They’re going to be just fine.”
No one knows what to expect Fournette from Fournette this fall.
The Jaguars voided the remaining guarantees in Fournette’s four-year rookie contract worth $27.1 million. The team made the move following his weeklong suspension in late November for instigating a fight in Buffalo.
Fournette challenged the decision, which could cost him up to $7.1 million.
Fournette had a lengthy meeting with Marrone and personnel chief Tom Coughlin after the season in hopes of clearing the air and staring anew.
His arrest put him back in the spotlight.
“It’s unfortunate, but at the same time, he’s here, he’s got a good mindset,” Campbell said. “He’s a big personality, coming with a lot of good energy. He’s positive and eager to get better. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does because I feel like that Year 3 is where you really kind of find out who are guys and what he’s going to develop into. The atmosphere he’s had these last couple of days and the mentality, he looks focused and ready.”
Marrone dealt with a similar arrest while he was an assistant coach at Georgia Tech.
Marrone was pulled over in Daytona Beach Shores for driving 57 mph in a 35 mph zone on June 20, 1997. He was arrested for driving with a suspended license and had coach George O’Leary pay his $100 bond.
Marrone told Fournette that story when they met following the player’s arrest, trying to make it a “learning lesson.”
“I’ve addressed it and moved on,” Marrone said.