The Jacksonville Jaguars had a decent running back group last year but they decided it needed upgrades, so they made a few additions in the offseason. Now, the Jags boast a crowded running back room, so there's a chance one or two of them might not make the 53-man roster. David Kenyon of Bleacher Report thinks JaMycal Hasty will be the odd man out.
Kenyon recently talked about one potential cut candidate for every NFL team and Hasty was the pick for the Jaguars. His argument is that the arrival of rookie Tank Bigsby and D'Ernest Johnson could make Hasty expendable.
"Given that Jacksonville signed JaMycal Hasty to an extension earlier this offseason, the team clearly had a role in mind. But then, the Jags drafted Tank Bigsby in the third round. It's possible they decide to keep Bigsby and 2022 fifth-rounder Snoop Conner as the backups for Travis Etienne Jr. this fall."
An undrafted free agent in 2020, the former Baylor Bear spent his two first NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. He was waived during roster cutdown day last year and was promptly picked up by the Jags. Although Hasty didn't get many carries early in the season, he saw his workload increase when James Robinson was traded to the New York Jets.
Hasty seemed poised to be the primary backup behind Travis Etienne in 2023 but the Jags then signed Johnson and later drafted Bigsby. Now, the three will compete for the No. 2 job on the depth chart. Sophomore Snoop Conner and rookie fullback Derek Parish will also be in the mix.
There are other RBs the Jaguars could release besides JaMycal Hasty
General manager Trent Baalke has shown he's not afraid to move on from players he had just re-signed. Back in 2021, the Jags gave cornerback Sidney Jones a one-year deal but traded him to the Seattle Seahawks a few months later. Thus, nobody would bat an eye if Baalke decides to part ways with Hasty even though he just gave him a new contract.
Having said that, Snoop Conner runs a higher risk of being released than Hasty in the upcoming months. The sophomore running back was a healthy scratch early in the 2022 season and even after James Robinson got traded, he rarely saw the field.
It's possible that the team's brass might have already seen enough of Conner to decide that he's not longer part of their plans. Otherwise, they wouldn't have signed Johnson and later drafted Bigsby. While both of them could bump Hasty down the depth chart, Conner might face an uphill battle to make the roster.
Johnson isn't safe either. He's set to count for $1 million in 2023 but only $50,000 of that money is guaranteed, so the Jaguars could easily move on from him without any significant cap repercussions.
Can the Jaguars release or trade Hasty before the start of the season? Absolutely but he won't be the only running back that could be on his way out. Johnson and Conner will also need to make a positive impression or else run the risk of getting a visit from the Turk.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are loaded at running back but they won't be able to keep all of them. The good news is that the front office doesn't have to make a decision right now. They'll have a better idea when training camp takes place, which means that Hasty, Johnson, and Conner still have time to make an impression.