The Jacksonville Jaguars showed marked improvement in 2015, at least on offense. The emergence of Blake Bortles as a legitimate, playmaking quarterback coupled with the breakout seasons of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns at wide receiver resulted in perhaps the most explosive offense in the AFC.
The same can’t be said for the defense.
For the third straight season under head coach Gus Bradley, the defense finished near the bottom of the league in terms of points allowed (31st in 2015). While some fault lies with Bradley for not adjusting his scheme enough, a majority of the cause for the poor defensive production has been the terrible personnel.
The Jaguars have been hoarding cap space since general manager David Caldwell took over in 2013 and it’s about to pay off. The Jaguars are projected to have the most cap space in the NFL this offseason by a fairly considerable margin.
The Raiders aren’t too far behind, but they still have about $10 million less in room to work with. After that, the Jaguars can outspend every other team by more than $20 million.
If that’s not enough, the Jaguars have a handful of players they can cut or have their contracts restructured.
Here’s how I view the cap casualty candidates along with their 2016 cap hit:
- Locks to be let go – Toby Gerhart ($3.5 million), Chris Clemons ($4 million)
- Not a lock, but pretty damn sure – Zane Beadles ($5.5 million)
- Wouldn’t be surprised to see them gone – Sergio Brown ($2.25 million), Dwayne Gratz ($964k)
The Jaguars have the cap space to go after as many as 5 marquee, premium free agents. The defensive side of the ball is in desperate need of playmakers, speed, and just overall talent. We’ve talked about the Jaguars adding pass rushers and cornerbacks in free agency and they can certainly make bids for the cream of the crop at both of those positions.