Jacksonville Jaguars release CB Shaquill Griffin ahead of NFL Free Agency

Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Shaquill Griffin (26). (Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports)
Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Shaquill Griffin (26). (Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars have made several roster moves over the last couple of weeks to get under the cap and they’ve just made one that’s been expected for a while. They parted ways with veteran cornerback Shaquill Griffin ahead of free agency.

Jordan Schultz of The Score reports the Jags have released Griffin, who was set to count $17.1 million against the cap. By cutting ties with him, Jacksonville has freed up $13.147 million with $4 million in free agency. The Jaguars haven’t made the move official but they will probably do it soon unless a team swoops in and trades for him after hearing the news of his release.

Griffin is now free to engage in contract talks with any team he pleases and doesn’t have to wait until the free agency legal tampering period starts on March 13. The former UCF Knight, a third-round pick by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2017 NFL Draft, signed a three-year deal worth $40 million with the Jaguars in 2021 and was an important part of their defense that year, posting a Pro Football Focus overall grade of 72.0 and registering seven passes defensed, 49 total tackles and one forced fumble.

However, Griffin suffered a back injury in training camp last year that hurt his performance in the regular season. He was placed on the Injured Reserve after five games. He previously had expressed a desire to return to Jacksonville in 2023 but was aware that he could be on the chopping block.

Griffin has missed 15 games over the last two seasons and isn’t particularly great at racking up interceptions, having logged just six throughout his football career, but teams in need of cornerback help should kick the tires on him in the upcoming days.

What’s next for the Jacksonville Jaguars after realeasing Shaq Griffin?

The Jacksonville Jaguars could afford to move on from Griffin because they have a solid cornerback tandem in Tyson Campbell and Darious Williams, who started the 2022 season in the slot but played much better once he moved to the perimeter.

Having said that, the Jags need a nickel cornerback and could also add depth at the position. Even after releasing Griffin, they’re in a cap crunch, so it’s hard to see them make a run for someone like James Bradberry in free agency. Maybe they could pursue someone like Rock Ya-Sin or Troy Hill, less talented albeit more affordable alternatives.

The Jaguars could also use their first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft pick to add a cornerback prospect. This is going to be one of the deepest classes in recent years and they would be in a favorable position to choose Joey Porter or Kalee Ringo, two of the top prospects, at No. 24. The front office could even double dip in the draft and take another cornerback in the second or third round, as there won’t be a shortage of talent.

In the end, moving on from players it’s part of the business side of the NFL. On the bright side, Griffin should be able to join a team in need of cornerback help and the Jaguars will be in a position to upgrade their cornerback room this offseason.

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