During an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” on Thursday, Fournette said he wants to sign free agent Cam Newton, citing the quarterback’s Super Bowl experience and saying it was not meant as disrespect to incumbent Jaguars starter Gardner Minshew.
Leonard Fournette makes his pitch for Cam Newton to join the Jaguars. pic.twitter.com/kEADekbmls— First Take (@FirstTake) April 16, 2020
“Cam went to the Super Bowl. He's a great guy,” Fournette said. “I've been knowing Cam for a minute now. And like I told some people that talked to me, it's no disrespect to Minshew. I'm just trying to get in the best position as a team as we can win. That's all that was about. Just friendly competition because that brings out the best in people.”
Fournette’s comments are an expansion of a since-deleted Instagram post in which Fournette straight-up asked Newton about teaming up. Newton was released last month by the Carolina Panthers after nine seasons, three Pro Bowl nods and an MVP.
How would Cam Newton do in a QB battle with Gardner Minshew?
Newton currently sits as arguably the most intriguing free-agent quarterback in a group that also includes fellow No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston and fellow Super Bowl participant Joe Flacco. Questions remain about Newton’s health after numerous shoulder and foot injuries, but the upside could still be there.
Picking up Newton would likely create a true quarterback competition next year with Minshew, who set numerous Jaguars rookie records last year after stepping up in place of the newly signed Nick Foles.
Now, Minshew looks positioned as the Jaguars’ guy going forward, but that could change soon, be it through the draft or by signing Newton.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone’s thoughts on Minshew’s situation, from ESPN:
"Right now if we went to play, Gardner Minshew's our guy and I'm excited about that," Marrone said. "But do I want competition for him? Absolutely. You want competition for everyone, though. I don't want to make it where I'm answering this question and [people are saying], 'Marrone's not as confident [in Minshew].'
"I want [competition] not just for the quarterback but I want competition for everyone."
In the end, Minshew has the promise of youth and potential room to grow, while Newton has the promise of recapturing his old magic if he’s finally healthy again.
Fournette: One person ‘destroyed’ Jaguars’ 2017 AFC championship team
During that same “First Take” experience, Fournette also declined to name the person who “destroyed” the Jaguars’ 2017 AFC championship team, as he said in a tweet on Wednesday.
How one person destroyed our 2017 AFC championship team 😢 https://t.co/n9kdnqe9uX— 7⃣ Leonard Fournette (@_fournette) April 16, 2020
While he didn’t name a name, he didn’t exactly push back when the hosts speculated it could be a certain former member of the front office with experience as a head coach in New York.
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