Estimated 2015 Cap Space: $63.4 million ($140M cap limit)
Players Under Contract: 54
Pro Bowlers: 0
Unrestricted Free Agents: 22(3 with 50%+ playtime)
Draft Selection: 3
Salary Cap Breakdown
Free Agents to Re-sign
Having already re-signed Roy Miller the Jaguars don’t have much left to do in this area. Linebacker Geno Hayes saw action in about 60% of the Jaguars snaps this season and would likely be back on a similar contract as his last contract which was a two year incentive filled deal…Alan Ball was also a decent player for the team and could be a low cost option for the Jaguars in 2015. Considering neither player was re-signed before the end of the season it likely means a one to two year contract length as the Jaguars usually do their long term extensions prior to the end of the season.
Free Agents to Let Walk
Jacksonville has plenty of defensive lineman and it should be time to let the disappointing Tyson Alualu attempt to resurrect his career somewhere else. His contract should void upon the completion of the season…Wide receiver Cecil Shorts is a decent player but the Jaguars have an abundance of talent at the position, especially if Justin Blackmon returns to the NFL. He’ll probably get a better opportunity elsewhere and the Jaguars will benefit from focusing on their youngest talent. It would probably be best for both sides to look elsewhere.
Contracts to Modify
I’m convinced that the Jaguars have no intention of moving on from linebacker Paul Posluszny, but I can’t see any way the team can justify investing another $7.5 million in him for just one season. He’s a statistical wonder but more or less only an average player. They can either work out a lower salary for the season or extend him for another two or three years at a lower cost more in line with the market.
Players to Consider Releasing
Marcedes Lewis is a player I mention every season as a likely cut and every season he returns on one of the worst contracts signed in recent memory. Not that they need the cap space, but they would create another $6.8 million by releasing him. At the least they need to bring his salary down…Toby Gerhart was pretty disappointing in his stint as the lead in the running game. The Jaguars took a gamble on him and they can save $3 million by releasing him. I would think that there might be more talented players that can be found at a similar cost this offseason…Chris Clemons was not the player expected by the Jaguars and they can save $4.5 million in releasing him. I would think at that price they would take the chance that he bounces back next season, but it is worth at least discussing.
Of the bad teams Jacksonville has the most pieces potentially in place since they may have a quarterback, have a solid defensive line, and have some wide receivers. Those are key pieces that teams build around so they are not necessarily at “ground zero” the way others are.
Jacksonville is not shy about spending in free agency and I think will set their targets and makes very strong offers to get them. Last year they kind of slow played their hand with Alex Mack and it cost them, but it does show a desire to go after top flight players. Overall I think will be pretty deliberate in their approach and won’t just spend for the sake of spending but will also not let money block them from signing players.
Jacksonville should be very active in free agency in upgrading the right tackle position where there should be some talented players available ranging from younger talent to veteran talent. Running back can also be addressed in free agency to find a complement to Dennard Robinson. I would think in the draft they would target players in the secondary and on the offensive line, players which they should be able to find in the first three rounds with the high selections they have.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.