Back when the Jacksonville Jaguars made it all the way to the AFC Championship in 2017, it looked like they were going to dominate the division for years to come. After all, they had one of the most dominant defenses in the league. However, the Jags went on to dismantle the unit and slowly moved on from all the difference-makers that compose it. Today, they are moving on from linebacker Myles Jack, the last vestige of that acclaimed Sacksonville defense.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports the Jaguars are releasing Jack, which will free up $8.4 million with $4.8 million in cap hit. The move isn’t particularly shocking when you take into account that the team’s brass went into a shopping spree on the first day of the NFL’s legal tampering period and might need extra cap room. The UCLA product was one of four players Jacksonville could release to create $24 million in cap relief. They also cut ties with veteran running back Carlos Hyde last week, which gave them nearly $2 million in cap space with a manageable $450,000 in dead money.
A second-round pick by Jacksonville in the 2016 draft, Jack has been a mainstay of the Jags’ secondary over the last six years, participating in 88 games with 82 starts and amassing 513 total tackles, 19 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, three interceptions, and two forced fumbles. The former UCLA product has been pretty consistent throughout his career but didn’t register any impact plays last season even though he played 94 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.
The Jaguars are starting over with the release of Myles Jack.
It’s unlikely that the Jaguars’ brass moved on from Jack based on last season alone. Rather, he might not have fit the team’s current vision. Another possibility is that they moved on from him because they needed the cap room his release would create to keep making additions in free agency.
Back when the Jaguars hired Mike Caldwell as their defensive coordinator, he said he had talked to Jack on the phone and was looking forward to working with him but that plan won’t come to fruition after his release.
After Jack’s release, it’s uncertain how the Jaguars’ linebacker corps will look. Foyesade Oloukun will likely take over one spot. Chapelle Russell, who got the exclusive rights tender a few days ago, could line up next to him. Another candidate to get playing time is Dylan Moses, who spent his rookie campaign rehabbing a knee injury he suffered in college. Last but not least, the Jags could re-sign Damien Wilson, who is a free agent but hasn’t signed with a team as of this writing.
After 2017, Jack never returned to the playoffs and had to endure three straight losing seasons but he always gave his best, even if it wasn’t enough to win games. It’s now time to turn the page but if he bounces back and plays the way he did before 2021, he will thrive wherever he goes.