Veteran newcomer on Jaguars roster No.1 – Safety Rudy Ford
Safety was a clear need for the Jaguars earlier this year. Unlike the tight end room, the team’s brass made several upgrades in the offseason. First, they signed Rayshawn Jenkins and Rudy Ford in free agency. They later drafted Syracuse product Andre Cisco. Although the position is far from a strength, it is currently in better shape than it was at the end of the 2020 season.
Jenkins will probably start opposite veteran Jarrod Wilson in Week 1 but sophomore Daniel Thomas and Cisco could challenge the latter for the starting job. Also, it will be interesting to see how many safeties the Jaguars will carry into the regular season. Will it be five or six? Regardless of the number, Ford may have a hard job making the team.
Third-year safety Andrew Wingard saw his playing time on defense increase in 2020 and might not have reached his ceiling yet, so Jacksonville may want to keep him around. Ford signed a two-year contract worth $4.2 million with $600,000 guaranteed at signing. If the Jaguars released him in 2021, that guaranteed would become a dead cap hit.
The 2017 sixth-round pick has carved a niche on special teams over his four-year career but has never played more than six percent of the total snaps on defense in a season. Ford still has time to impress the coaching staff in training camp. Nevertheless, it’s not a sure thing he will be on the roster in Week 1.