New England Patriots

Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) runs the ball against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

98.5 The Sports Hub staff report

It may be more than due diligence on the part of Bill Belichick when it comes to the market’s newest free agent, as the New England Patriots have expressed interest in running back Leonard Fournette, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe.

Cut by the Jaguars on Monday and clearing waivers on Tuesday, Fournette is drawing interest from outside of New England, too, with the Bills reportedly in the mix for the 25-year-old back.

The No. 4 overall pick from the 2017 NFL Draft, Fournette rushed for a career-high 1,152 yards in 15 games for the Jags in 2019, averaging 4.3 yards per carry and 76.8 yards per game.

Fournette also set career-highs in receptions (76) and receiving yards (522), though he found the endzone just three times (all on the ground) over that 15-game run.

The Patriots already have their share of bodies in the backfield, too, with Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, and veteran Lamar Miller among the notables on the roster. Second-year pro Damien Harris has also emerged as a name to watch, and has split duties as the lead back through training camp.

That said, the Patriots certainly have the financials to take a chance on Fournette, with over $31 million in available cap space.

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