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Listen: Jaguars' Leonard Fournette Talks Removing 'Bad People,' Dropping Weight

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2019

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette reacts while talking to teammates prior to an NFL football preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette said he's been able to get into the best shape of his career by ridding himself of "bad people" and refocusing himself on training.

“I just tried to focus on my personal life,” Fournette told SirusXM NFL Radio. “Getting the bad people out of my life, focusing on myself so I won’t have to worry about no problems coming into the season or even coming into camp. I know football is going to take care of itself if I put my mind into it and work hard every day, do what I have to do. It’s really the personal things, just trying to be in a better place.”

SiriusXM NFL Radio @SiriusXMNFL

#Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette joined @JimMiller_NFL & @PatKirwan_NFL and discussed dropping some weight in the offseason & making some changes to come back stronger in 2019. 🔽 AUDIO 🔽 https://t.co/ke9O0qgBdg

Fournette, 24, slimmed down in the offseason in an effort to make his running style more explosive. His injury-plagued second season saw him rush for only 439 yards with a long carry of 25 yards.

"You can make a lot of certain cuts you probably couldn't make at 240 or whatever the case may be. It feels more natural at this low weight," Fournette said. "Still strong. During the offseason, I still lifted weights, I ran a lot more, ate more healthier and it paid off."

Fournette, 24, slimmed down in the offseason in an effort to make his running style more explosive. His injury-plagued second season saw him rush for only 439 yards with a long carry of 25 yards.

"You can make a lot of certain cuts you probably couldn't make at 240 or whatever the case may be. It feels more natural at this low weight," Fournette said. "Still strong. During the offseason, I still lifted weights, I ran a lot more, ate more healthier and it paid off."

Fournette will make $2.9 million in the third year of his rookie contract, which pays him $27.2 million overall. The Jaguars voided the guaranteed money on his contract after Fournette was suspended for a game last season for a fight with Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson. They could cut him following the 2019 season and save $4.2 million in salary for 2020.

The No. 4 pick of the 2017 draft, Fournette flashed some promise his rookie season, rushing for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns. However, his impact has paled in comparison to the likes of Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley, two other running backs recently drafted in the top five.

Fournette will be part of a new-look Jaguars offense under new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. Jacksonville brought in Nick Foles to vastly improve its quarterback situation after failing to develop Blake Bortles while also adding Alfred Blue as a backup behind Fournette.

This is the epitome of a prove-it year for Fournette, who could find himself on the open market next offseason if all his hard work this spring did not pay off.