Patriots

Report: Pats reached out to Fournette in free agency

Patriots

If there's a talented player available in free agency, chances are Bill Belichick has given him a call.

As speculation swirled around Leonard Fournette following his release from the Jacksonville Jaguars on Tuesday, NFL Media's Mike Giardi reported the New England Patriots likely won't pursue the star running back.

That doesn't mean they're ignoring his existence, though. According to CLNS Media's Evan Lazar, the Patriots have, in fact, reached out to Fournette in free agency.

Lazar notes Belichick was simply doing his "due diligence" and gauging the market on Fournette, who rushed for a career-high 1,152 yards last season but didn't fit into the Jaguars' plans.

If Sony Michel (offseason ankle surgery) and Lamar Miller (torn ACL in 2019) can stay healthy, the Patriots should have plenty of backfield depth, with James White, Damien Harris and Rex Burkhead all expected to contribute, as well.

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So, if a team is willing to pay Fournette close to the $4.1 million he was owed in Jacksonville, it almost certainly won't be New England.

But this is a club that waited four months to sign Cam Newton to a $1.05 million base salary earlier this summer, so the longer Fournette goes unsigned as the regular season approaches, the greater the chances that Belichick's Patriots swoop in and sign the 25-year-old LSU product.