With the news of the trade that sent A.J. Bouye to the Denver Broncos on Tuesday, what is next for the Jacksonville Jaguars?
The Jacksonville Jaguars made yet another move to create more room under the salary cap by trading veteran cornerback A.J. Bouye to the Denver Broncos for a 2020 fourth-round draft pick. The move meant the last puzzle piece of a quintet of defensive backs from the 2017 playoff team had officially been cast away by the organization.
The move to trade Bouye, who was part of the famed 2017 free-agent class, saved Jacksonville $15M in cap space this offseason. Now, Bouye, Jalen Ramsey, Barry Church, Tashaun Gipson, and Aaron Colvin have all left Jacksonville.
Adam Schefter of ESPN.com broke the news via Twitter Tuesday afternoon.
It has been a tumultuous week so far for the Jaguars, which started out with news that defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has told the front office that he no longer wants a long-term deal with the organization. Then news spread from ESPN and other sources that the team may look to trade quarterback Nick Foles, with the plan to go forward with Gardner Minshew as the team’s starter in 2020.
The announcement of Bouye wasn’t unexpected as he was one of several high-priced veterans who may have had to take a pay cut to remain in North Florida.
But now that it appears the front office’s thinking may turn to a rebuild of what was established just three seasons ago with a run to the AFC Title game and loss at the hands of the New England Patriots.
Whose next and how far will general manager David Caldwell, director of player personnel Trent Baalke and head coach Doug Marrone go to wipe the slate clean and potentially start over? Caldwell and Marrone are already under the gun with the Jaguars, knowing they must turn the corner and show marked improvement in 2020 after a second straight losing season.
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The Jaguars have other salary cap moves they could make before the start of free agency that involves defensive end Calais Campbell, wide receiver Marqise Lee, tight end Geoff Swaim and left guard Andrew Norwell. The team had already cut ties with defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and linebacker Jake Ryan, which created $22.5M in cap space.
Per Spotrac, the Jaguars are now 23rd in the NFL with over $33M in cap space available. The team may still bring Dareus back on a more cap-friendly deal and could also use the franchise tag on Ngakoue to the tune of $19.3M.
The Jaguars could then either force him to play under that one-year figure or work a deal to trade him this offseason. The Jaguars continue to accrue draft picks. They have 10 in April and nine in 2021.