General Manager David Caldwell and the Jacksonville Jaguars were aggressive in addressing the defensive line this offseason, and apparently they are comfortable enough in those moves to release veteran defensive end Jason Babin.
The timing seems very odd, especially since the Jaguars had already released Babin earlier this offseason and re-signed him to a more team-friendly contract. Supposedly this was done as a favor to Babin so he can have the time to shop around for a new team.
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This has already been discussed on the site, but the Jaguars had a very crowded rotation at the LEO position after signing Chris Clemons in free-agency and drafting Chris Smith in the 5th round of the 2014 NFL draft. The LEO spot was primarily manned by Babin and Andre Branch last year, but Ryan Davis started to get some snaps at the end of the season and was fairly effective in his limited time.
The timing of the move is a bit curious, but it makes sense for the Jaguars to not keep 2 aging players (Babin and Clemons) at a position they need to develop young talent. Andre Branch is receiving high praise from head coach Gus Bradley this offsseason, and Chris Smith appears to be pushing for some playing time with his work in offseason activities so far.
– Daniel Lago