Reggie Hayward was released – What does that mean for the Jaguars?


 

Stunning news came from the Jaguars front office. Among 6 players; the Jaguars released veteran DE Reggie Hayward. I was stunned; when I first read the official statement. Reggie was probably the best defensive end of this team in the last 2 years; and the front office went after him in this off-season; to get him back to the roster. So why Gene Smith let him go now?

I hope the answer is simple: the drafted rookies and Derrick Harvey are improving much better (under the hands of new D-line coach Joe Cullen) then anyone expected. I heard very good words about Larry Hart; and how he is improving. Derrick Harvey was another player I heard just as well of this off-season so far.

Let’s face it, it’s a young men’s game and we can not consider Reggie in the “young” category. He was a veteran leader in the locker room that’s for sure. But Gene Smith showed (for example by not re-signing Clint Ingram); that he cares more about performance then just locker room leadership.

I’m not going to lie, I am not 100% in favor of the move. The coaching staff has not seen how the rookies will perform when the pads go up. It is a bit of a risky move; but it shows that the defensive line is getting together quicker then we thought. Let’s hope that this perception is becoming true in training camp and most importantly on the field during the season.

Reggie; wherever you find a new job (as a player or elsewhere); thank you for all the things you did for this franchise (including 17.5 sacks in 4 seasons since ’05)! I wish all the best for you HayDay! You’ll be remembered here with nothing but good feelings!

Zoltan Paksa

Tags: Reggie Hayward; Defensive Line;

  • Luke

    Before I begin, let me say, Reggie is a fine man, and a decent player, I hope he lands on his feet and gets another chance.

    But, this doesn’t mean much for the Jaguars. And here’s why:

    1) Reggie Hayward played in 45 games over 5 seasons. That’s 80 possible games. He played in just over half, in fact it was a mere 56% of the possible games. Sure, he was injured and had talent, but it isn’t enough talent to justify a roster spot for playing only half the time available, which leads to point number…

    2) Reggie Hayward gained a reputation for getting sacks. He has 39.5 in his career, which is pretty solid. Though he has played for 9 years. Which means only 4.3 sacks a season (round up to 4.5). That number only looks good in comparison to how the rest of the Jaguars defensive line has played. Not to mention that Reggie didn’t play for a large number of games during that time. So, let’s look at the games he did play in (for the Jaguars). In 45 games with the Jaguars he recorded a mere 17.5 sacks. That’s not even a half a sack a game (.38 for anybody interested).

    Based strictly off statistics, Reggie is not a very solid defensive end. In fact, his career shows inconsistency and rapid decline. Which leaves two things to be gleaned from his cutting by the Jaguars brass:

    1) The Jaguars have players that they are confident will produce better results than less than a half sack per game (not a very high standard).

    2) The Jaguars are finally moving in a healthy direction with their defensive line. They are willing to sacrifice fan favorites and veteran experience for production. Is this cutthroat? I say no. I say it is smart. Leaving people like Reggie on the roster will only make the Jaguars management appear soft. This is a business that can afford the cutting of people that lack production without feeling bad for them because they make so much money.

    It’s too bad Hayward is going away. I liked the man. But the player left many things to be desired, mainly pressure and sacks. I wish him the best, and I pray that he will become what he once was with the Broncos and early on with the Jaguars. But, this was a smart move by the Jaguars organization. I hope that the younger ends can live up to the standard set by Reggie. If not, we’re seriously in trouble!

    • zoltanfrombudapest

      I agree with your points. But it was a bit risky move; but Gene Smith said to Vito Stellino; that they must cut back the roster to 80; and HayDay was the victim of that process.