The Jacksonville Jaguars had a good run in 2023. Although they had a few rough stretches, they also showed how good they could be in wins over the Buffalo Bills and the Houston Texans in Weeks 5 and 12, respectively. Unfortunately, their season has come to a halt following the loss to the Tennesse Titans in the finale.
With the 2023 campaign in the rearview mirror, Jacksonville will turn its attention to the offseason. Among the many decisions they'll have to make is which players they'll re-sign and which ones they'll let walk in free agency. Outside linebacker Josh Allen should be a lock to return following a career season.
Conversely, there are a handful of players whose future with the team is murky, either because they've underperformed or their cap hit isn't proportional to their on-field performance. In particular, these five players have a slim chance of returning next season.
5. Folorunso Fatukasi, defensive tackle
The Jaguars paid a premium to secure Folorunso Fatukasi in 2022. More specifically, they gave him a three-year deal worth $30 million because they thought he could collapse the pocket, take on blocks, and stymie the run. Neither thing has happened during his two-year stint in Jacksonville.
While Fatukasi hasn't been totally terrible, he hasn't been great either. As a nose tackle, he's not tasked with creating pressure up front, so his 1.5 sacks in 29 games aren't a sign he's underperformed. That said, he has struggled to fulfill his role, with running backs easily finding space to run in the middle of the Jaguars' defense.
Similarly, Jacksonville has struggled to create inside pressure and that partially falls on Foley's shoulders. He's not the sole reason they have a hard time setting the tone in the defensive trenches but he isn't the solution either.
Fatukasi is schedule to make $12.8 milllion in 2024 but the Jaguars could save $3.5 million if they release him. Moving on from the veteran defensive tackle would also leave $9.2 million in dead money but they Jags cannot afford to keep him around after such a lackuster peformance. They might as well use that money to ink a more affordable but effective alternative in free agency.
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