Paul Posluszny might have been released if not for restructured deal


The Jacksonville Jaguars suffered through countless disastrous draft picks and free agents signings under former general manager Gene Smith‘s horrendous tenure, but one of the few players added during that time sticking around now is middle linebacker Paul Posluszny.

Signed in 2011 after the Buffalo Bills let him walk, Posluszny has been nothing if not a model of consistency in the middle of the Jaguars defense. Poz only missed one game in his first 3 years with the Jaguars, accumulating 119, 139, 162 tackles in each of those 3 successive seasons. His huge tackle numbers in 2013 vaulted him to a Pro Bowl (as an alternate), before falling to injury and missing more than half of the 2014 season.

Statistically, Poz has been a serviceable middle linebacker, but he’s never been more than just adequate in coverage. At times Posluszny is even a liability, even more so as he just reached the wrong side of 30.

Still, Posluszny’s standing with the team has never really been in question, even with his massive and arguably overvalued contract. The Jaguars managed to restructure his deal this offseason to bring his number to something more commensurate with his play and – according to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports – the Jaguars might have considered releasing him if they didn’t get a deal done.

"BELIEVE IT OR NOT: Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny said his belief in Bradley was a major reason he agreed to a restructured contract to stay in Jacksonville. Had he refused, there was a chance Posluszny would have gotten released.“I really think we have the potential to be something really, really special,” said Posluzny, who was on pace for a fourth consecutive 100-tackle campaign in Jacksonville before suffering a torn pectoral muscle midway through last season."

This makes some sense, but I don’t think the Jaguars would have released Poz if they hadn’t restructured his deal. There’s absolutely no experience or depth behind the starting 3 linebackers, and the Jaguars are more than equipped to eat whatever Poz’s cap hit would have been. Ultimately Posluszny has more value playing for the Jaguars at whatever price he’s at now than he would for some other 4-3 team looking for a middle linebacker. He’s a veteran who knows the defense and can help the young players around him. Next offseason is when we really should start talking about Posluszny’s role with the team, especially if the Jaguars do as we most expect and draft some linebackers.

Next: Jags should be able to run right

More from Black and Teal