How did the 2018 Jacksonville Jaguars free agents do this past season?
The Jacksonville Jaguars had a poor showing from the group of free agents in 2018. The first thought I had was that I could do better if I were a general manager even for a day. What I learned quickly was that the job is very complicated.
The Jaguars free agents that started the 2018 season contributed very little to the success of the team. Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, wide receiver Marqise Lee, left guard Andrew Norwell, and tight end Niles Paul ended the season on Injured Reserve.
Cornerback D.J. Hayden and wide receiver Donte Moncrief contributed to some extent during the season. Defensive back Don Carey was a veteran defensive back the team signed after last playing for the team in 2010. He is on the dead cap list, and was released from the team after playing in only one game last season.
More from Jacksonville Jaguars News
- Jacksonville Jaguars land DeAndre Hopkins in trade proposal to stop the KC Chiefs
- The Jaguars may look for edge rushers with pick 24
- NFL free agency felt like a whirlwind for Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram in 2022
- Jacksonville Jaguars in position to let RT Jawaan Taylor hit free agency in 2023
- Jaguars GM Trent Baalke hopes HC Doug Pederson has trust in him
Paul has been released as well. Hayden, Seferian-Jenkins, Lee, and Norwell are under contract and it’s assumed that they will return.
Moncrief is an unrestricted free agent and had a one-year, $9.6 million contract. The likelihood of the team offering him a new deal is very slim. He played all season but did not meet team expectations. The team will have to look elsewhere to find another veteran pass catcher to add to this roster.
The Jaguars have a number of players that are currently unrestricted free agents or restricted free agents. The team can match offers for restricted free agents but the unrestricted free agents can move on to another team or resign with the Jaguars.
Lets look at 2019 as a general manager. First, we need to look at finances. This and more information can be found on spotrac.com.
The NFL maximum salary cap is $204,968,739. The Jaguars active contracts add up to $140,722,671 and the contracts of players on IR are $36,989,794. The dead cap, which is, money charged for a player no longer on the active roster, signing bonuses, certain roster bonuses, and option bonuses are spread out over the life of a contract for a maximum of five years. is $20,751,820.
The total is $198,525,085 and leaves a very minimal amount of $6,443,654 to spend. It is obvious that this is not enough to sign many new players. Now the general manager job becomes very complicated. Who stays? Who goes? Who will restructure their contract to free up money?
There are currently 24 free agents on the roster. As general manager I would who we sign and who we let walk. However, the step before that is to find money to pay future players. The top ten salaried players for the Jaguars are: Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, A.J. Bouye, Norwell, Marcell Dareus, Brandon Linder, Blake Bortles, Moncrief, Tashaun Gipson, and Jermey Parnell. Only Moncrief is a free agent.
The only way to save money is restructuring contracts if players are willing or if the Jaguars decide to part ways witn high-priced veterans. There has been talk that Jackson, Dareus and Parnell have all played their last game in a Jaguars uniform. Gipson is also a veteran who may be released.
Being the Jaguars General Manager appears to be an easy job until you realize that financial issues play a huge part in decisions. It’s may be easy to release a player in theory but the dead cap is something that can can haunt the team for years.