The Jacksonville Jaguars could bring back a familiar face this offseason.
After a taxing 2020 season, the Jacksonville Jaguars have a new head coach in Urban Meyer and Trent Baalke has been promoted to general manager after previously holding the job on an interim basis. The team will soon need to decide what players they will add in free agency and cornerback A.J. Bouye, who once played for the Black and Teal may be available.
The ‘Jags’ traded Bouye to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a fourth-round selection in 2020. One season later, it seems like the cornerback is not expected to be back in Mile High City in 2021, per Mike Klis of 9News.
Bouye nursed a shoulder injury last season and missed five games. Also, he was slapped with a four-game suspension after violating the NFL’s performance-enhancement policy and has an $11.6 million cap hit with no guaranteed money in 2021, which makes him a prime candidate to get the pink slip.
A.J. Bouye was once a key cog in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ secondary.
Bouye’s performance last season wasn’t optional and his contract might not have been proportional to his play, but if he hits the open market, the Jaguars should explore the possibility of kicking the tires on him. After a subpar 2020, his stock might’ve taken a hit and they could bring him back at a reduced price. A year in Denver could’ve also re-energized the corner, and it doesn’t hurt to inquire.
The Jaguars gave Bouye a five-year $67.5 contract in 2017. The former undrafted free agent quickly had an impact, logging 56 total tackles, 18 pass deflections, and six interceptions. However, he wasn’t as effective the following two seasons, which prompted former general manager David Caldwell to ship him to Denver last offseason.
Now that the Broncos indeed move on from Bouye, should the Jaguars give him a call? After all, he was part of that team that made it all the way to the AFC Championship in 2017. You could argue his play the following years made him expendable, but you could also make a case the team wanted to cut corners in 2020 and look for ways to get rid of everyone who had a high cap hit.
In 2020, the ‘Jags’ traded Bouye, defensive ends Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, and the season before, they sent cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for two first-round picks and a fourth-round selection.
While you can file those under business decisions, did the team really need to ship all of them? The Jaguars may now have the chance to bring Bouye back this offseason, it’s uncertain whether a reunion would benefit both parties, but that’s why the team should give the cornerback a call to see how feasible it would be.