Jaguars DT Marcell Dareus agrees to restructure his contract
By David Levin
Per multiple sources, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus has agreed to resturcture his contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars and will remain with the team for the 2019 season.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and Marcell Dareus have agreed to restructure is 2019 contract to free up cap space as the team heads toward free agency next week.
"Per multiple sources, which include both Michael DiRocco and Field Yates of ESPN, “The deal clears $5 million in cap space for the Jaguars and lowers Dareus’ base salary from $8.335 million in 2019.”"
The Jaguars are working to clear cap space to potentially sign a veteran quarterback this offseason and fill needs on the offensive side of the ball. Marcell Dareus is the second Jaguars defensive starter who has agreed to restructure his deal. Defensive end Calais Campbell publically stated he would be willing to rework his contract to free up more money for the team this offseason.
"“Dareus has two sacks, 52 tackles (three for loss), and four quarterback hits in 24 games with the Jaguars,” DiRocco wrote. “The Jaguars acquired Dareus in a trade with Buffalo on Oct. 27, 2017, to help shore up the team’s run defense, and he made an immediate impact.”"
The move also helps keep the core of the defensive line intact. It is believed fellow defensive tackle Malik Jackson will be released by the team because of his cap figure for the 2019 season.
Jackson is set to make a base salary of $13 million in 2019 with a cap hit of $15.75 million per spotrac.com. Jacksonville will use last year’s first round draft pick, Taven Bryan more in the rotation with Abry Jones also seeing extensive time at defensive tackle.
Who starts along side Dareus could be a camp battle to watch this summer.
The combination of defensive ends Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue return this season. The two combined for 20 sacks in 2018 and had 26.5 sacks in 2017.
After Marcell Dareus, the Jaguars will now focus on other veterans who may be asked to restructure their contracts as well. Cornerback A.J. Bouye has a base salary of $13 million in 2019. He is one of the more valuable pieces to this defense.
Safety Tashaun Gipson could also be asked to work on a new deal with the team (base salary of $7.25 million this coming season). He could also be released to save cap space, as it has been rumored this offseason.
According to spotrac.com, the Jaguars are currently are $3.956 million over the salary cap but should be able to clear space with moves made over the next two weeks, which may include releasing quarterback Blake Bortles, which still leaves the team with $16.5 million in dead cap money from his new deal in 2018.