In a move many expected to happen soon, the Jacksonville Jaguars announced on Thursday they were releasing veteran guard Zane Beadles.
Beadles originally signed a a five-year, $30 million deal with $12.45 million guaranteed back in 2014, but the deal was frontloaded to give the Jaguars an out after two years. The Jaguars decided to take that out, saving $5.5 million in an offseason they plan to use their oodles of cap space.
This is the first of what should be a handful of roster cuts as we trudge towards free agency. Chris Clemons and Toby Gerhart are likely to be released soon and those moves will increase the Jaguars league-leading salary cap space.
The Zane Beadles was era certainly wasn’t an outright success, but the Jaguars don’t really suffer any consequences. General manager David Caldwell has structured almost all of his free agent contracts in the same way – push all the guaranteed money in the first two years and so the team can move on if the signing doesn’t work out. Beadles was mediocre at best during his 2 years in Jacksonville and his retention would only have hindered the opportunities and playing time for young offensive lineman like Brandon Linder and A.J. Cann.
The Jaguars now need depth along the offensive line, so expect them to pursue a mid-tier or higher free agent in that position group.
Cutting Beadles and letting Stefan Wisniewski walk intimates the Jaguars will either pursue a premier free agent (Kelechi Osemele or Alex Mack perhaps) or the team is going to invest some draft picks there.