The Jacksonville Jaguars have released safety Dawan Landry and cornerback Aaron Ross. With the announcement that veteran cornerback Rashean Mathis will not be returning, the likely big offer that cornerback Derek Cox will sign with another team, and the potential loss of renaissance corner William Middleton to free agency as well, the Jaguars are now extremely slim on defensive backs.
When March 12, the start of free agency, rolls around the defensive secondary will consist of:
- Kevin Rutland
- Mike Harris
- Antwon Blake
- Dwight Lowery
- Chris Prosinski
Harris worked his way into the starting lineup over Mathis and Ross. Rutland is a depth guy and does not see the field regularly. Antwon Blake is a depth guy and will likely as not turn into a starting caliber safety. He was an undrafted free agent from the class of 2012. Prosinski started while Lowery was injured for part of last season and was an absolute disaster. Lowery is the only quality safety left on the roster and Harris is arguably the only quality cornerback left.
The Jaguars will need to be active in free agency to fill these holes. Whether they manage to re-sign Cox or not, the team will need two more corners at least and preferably two or three more safeties (with the removal of Prsosinski, who is widely believed among the fan base to be expendable).
The Jaguars have created more holes for themselves as the team gears up for a complete overhaul. The roster evaluation is starting to show that many players simply do not produce on a level that GM Dave Caldwell would like.
We’ll have to see how the Jags address the massive needs in the secondary. It seems likely some draft picks will be given a shot, but if the team wants to stick to its goal of not spending big in free agency, the team may have a lot of young players fighting for starting spots – or outright starting – at the start of the season.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims