NFL free agency is quickly approaching, and while the Jaguars may not be major players this year in terms of signing several big-money free agents, there still are a few positions the Jaguars would like to upgrade.
After missing the postseason in 2018, the Jaguars have holes to fill. This is not only due to the injuries along the offensive line but also due to a total lack of talent at certain positions, particularly at quarterback, tight end, and the OL.
The Jaguars, currently, are set to enter the 2019 season with Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler as the two primary quarterbacks. However, that can change quickly depending on what occurs during free agency and the draft. Blake Bortles will likely be released, although general manager Dave Caldwell has suggested otherwise recently. Either way, the Jaguars will be addressing this position at some point and it very well might come via free agency.
The Jaguars struggled to get anything out of the tight end position after Austin Seferian-Jenkins landed on injured reserve and was recently released earlier this month. The Jaguars will enter 2019 with receiver-turned tight end Pharoah McKever, and Ben Koyack at the tight end position. This position needs fresh bodies, to say the least.
As for the offensive line concerns for the Jaguars, they recently released long-time right tackle Jermey Parnell. During the season they lost three out of five starting offensive linemen due to injury, including Cam Robinson (week 2 — ACL), Brandon Linder (week 10 — knee), and Andrew Norwell (week 12 — foot).
There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the offensive line, and in particular at right tackle and right guard. After the release of Jermey Parnell on Friday, the Jaguars have only Will Richardson — 2018 4th round pick — as an option. Richardson played a whopping 0 snaps last year in the regular season and will be looking to compete this summer for the position.
The other completely uncertain position along the offensive line is at right guard. With guard A.J. Cann likely moving on from the team, the Jaguars are completely baren at right guard making it one of the most important positions the Jaguars have to fill. Whether it be via draft or free agency, they will have to figure this out.
There are several players that may fit the Jaguars criteria in free agency, and although there may only be one or two big signings this time around, I still expect the Jaguars to be active as they have always been active in free agency during the Dave Caldwell era. Although there may only be offensive players listed here, that is for a reason. The Jaguars may address a couple of depth positions on defense this offseason, however, they are unlikely to be major players in that area. The offense will be, and should be, the priority for the Jaguars.
Nick Foles — Eagles
The Jaguars will be searching far and wide for a quarterback this offseason and one quarterback who continuously is brought up is former Eagles quarterback Nick Foles.
Foles began his career in 2012 as a 4th round pick out of Arizona to the Philidelphia Eagles. In his career, Foles has completed 61% of his passes for 11,165 yards, 68 touchdowns, and 33 interceptions. He has had success in the past two seasons winning the Superbowl for the Eagles in 2017 and taking them to the divisional round of the playoffs in 2018 after multiple injuries to starting quarterback Carson Wentz.
For the Jaguars this signing makes sense. Not only due to the connection to new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo but with his success and leadership ability the Jaguars desperately need to regain control of the huddle. Foles *should* be able to do this.
What makes this move less than ideal is absolutely the price tag. The Jaguars recently cleared ~$30M in cap space by releasing Malik Jackson, Tashaun Gipson, Carlos Hyde, Jermey Parnell, and Carson Tinker. Although that will be enough to sign the quarterback, considerations need to be made for the rest of the team.
Projected salary: 3 years, $56M, $20M guaranteed
Teddy Bridgewater — New Orleans Saints
Teddy Bridgewater is another quarterback the Jaguars have been reportedly interested in. Bridgewater was originally the 32nd pick in the 2014 NFL draft to the Minnesota Vikings. During his two seasons with the Vikings, he compiled a completion percentage of 64.4% with 6,268 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.
Before Bridgewater could enter his third year with the team, he suffered a devastating knee injury which set him back for the next two years of his deal until he was eventually allowed to walk in free agency.
Last season, Bridgewater made his first start since prior to his injury completing 63.6% of his passes for 118 yards with one touchdown and one interception. One of the major reasons why the Jaguars may be interested in Bridgewater is his potential. Although he has not played long in the league due to his knee injury, he has still been efficient enough to become a bridge-type (no pun intended) quarterback while the Jaguars draft someone to eventually take over the starting role.
The biggest issue is with Bridgewater is his durability. Although he has yet to be injured since his catastrophic knee injury during the 2016 offseason, he has also yet to be able to play much at all regardless. The Jaguars will likely still have the issues they had with him that they have always had.
They didn’t like him that much. Worried about his frame and didnt like his pro day. After knee injury they were worried about increased injury risk.
— Michael DiRocco (@ESPNdirocco) March 8, 2019
Projected salary: 2 years, $10M, $5M guaranteed
Honorable mentions: Josh McCown (Jets), Tyrod Taylor (Browns)
Andy Levitre — Atlanta Falcons
Levitre is an impending free agent who last played with the Atlanta Falcons after being traded to the team from the Tennesee Titans in 2015. He was not able to stay healthy with the Falcons incurring a triceps injury in both 2017 and 2018. While he was injury-prone during his time there, the Falcons were still able to have success with him as a major contributor to an otherwise average offensive line.
The issue with Levitre is his injury history as well as his regression of his play in the past couple of years. However, with A.J. Cann likely departing in free agency the Jaguars need to address the right guard position in any way they possibly can. Levitre would be an experienced guard on a team lacking serious depth or experience.
Projected salary: 1 year, $2.5M
T.J. Lang — Detroit Lions
Lang was recently released by the Detroit Lions due to cap ramifications as well as his injury history. Lang has suffered multiple concussions throughout his career as well as a neck injury. If Lang can come to the Jaguars and stay healthy he would make for a very reliable and consistent guard in an effort to replace A.J. Cann. The Jaguars will surely be signing some sort of offensive lineman. Lang has the added benefit of being versatile. He can play tackle as well as guard.
Projected salary: 1 year, $3.5M
Honorable mentions: Billy Turner (Broncos), James Carpenter (Jets)
Latavius Murray — Vikings
Latavius Murray may be one of the most obvious players for the Jaguars to sign. The Jaguars currently have Leonard Fournette, David Williams, and Thomas Rawls. Williams carried the football 8 total times for 36 yards, and Rawls has played 0 snaps for the Jaguars.
Murray also has strong ties to the Jaguars with their new offensive coordinator being John DeFilippo who coached Murray in Oakland (2013-2014) and in Minnesota during last season before Defillippo was fired as offensive coordinator.
Murray would bring more of a supplement to Leonard Fournette in the same way the Jaguars hoped Carlos Hyde would during last season. He has accumulated 3,698 yards for 4.1 yards-per-carry and 34 touchdowns. He also had 128 receptions and 883 yards.
Projected salary: 2 years, $8M
Mark Ingram — Saints
Mark Ingram is more of a longshot for the Jaguars, however, he would also be a great compliment to Leonard Fournette. Ingram has had a sort of resurgence to his career with the addition of Alvin Kamara in New Orleans accounting for over 1,000 yards each of the past two seasons. If the Jaguars are searching for a good mentor for Fournette, Ingram would be a fantastic fit.
Projected salary: 3 years, $18M
Honorable mentions: Frank Gore (Dolphins), Bilal Powell (Jets), Alfred Blue (Texans)
Jesse James — Steelers
As stated before, the Jaguars are in desperate need for a tight end this offseason. Jesse James has been an above average blocker for the Steelers the past few seasons and has had some success in the receiving game accounting for 120 receptions for 1,189 yards and nine touchdowns thus far in his career.
James makes the most sense for the Jaguars, and there are some rumors the Jaguars may be interested as well.
— Bleav Podcast Network (@BleavPodcasts) February 21, 2019
Projected salary: 5 years, $30M
Tyler Eifert — Bengals
Eifert is a player the Jaguars may have a little bit of interest in as he would come cheap due to his injury history. Eifert entered the NFL in 2014 with the Cincinnati Bengals but has been snake-bit with injuries throughout his career. If the Jaguars were to sign him he would be cheap.
Eifert has a ton of upside with his best season coming in 2015 accumulating 52 receptions for 615 yards and 13 touchdowns. If the Jaguars can muster some amount of success with him, it would be a major win for them and Eifert himself.
Projected salary: 1 year, $2M
Honorable mentions: Demetrius Harris (Chiefs), Jared Cook (Oakland), Luke Wilson (Detroit)
Golden Tate — Lions
Although it may seem like a reach, the Jaguars will likely want to target a wide receiver or two during the offseason. With Marqise Lee coming back from a devastating knee injury, and Keelan Cole regressing a bit last season the Jaguars need to add something there. Golden Tate would be an ideal fit at receiver in my opinion. Tate last played with the Philadelphia Eagles after being traded midseason by the Detriot Lions.
Tate has accumulated 611 receptions for 7,214 yards and 42 touchdowns over his 10-year career. Tate is more known for his aggressive nature at receiver playing similarly to a running back at receiver like Anquan Boldin. If the Jaguars want to add a veteran presence to their receiver room, Tate would make the most sense.
There is a connection here. Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey:
— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) March 10, 2019
Projected salary: 3 years, $27M
John Brown — Ravens
Brown began his career with the Arizona Cardinals. He had a breakout year in 2015 accumulating 65 catches for 1,003 yards and 7 touchdowns. Due to injuries, Brown’s play tapered off after that until his resurgence in Baltimore just last year. Brown had 42 receptions for 715 yards and five touchdowns. If the Jaguars would like some depth in the same vein as Donte Moncrief was last season they could turn to Brown. Brown at the very least is a much better route runner than Moncrief with similar speed on the outside.
projected salary: 2 years, $10M
Honorable mentions: Adam Humpries (Buccaneers), Randall Cobb (Packers), Pierre Garcon (49ers), Jermaine Kearse (Jets)
REPORT: Jaguars re-sign tight end James O’Shaughnessy
The Jaguars have re-signed tight end James O’Shaughnessy according to a report released by the team. O’Shaughnessy now re-joins a group that includes newly signed tight end Geoff Swaim, Ben Koyack, and Pharoah McKever.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) March 21, 2019
This is great news for the Jaguars tight end group. O’Shaughnessy was a reliable receiving threat for the Jaguars last season, although he was horribly underutilized.
This adds some continuity into the room with Ben Koyack as the only Jaguars tight end with in-game experience with the team. O’Shaughnessy accounted for 24 receptions for 214 yards last season. O’Shaughnessy’s only other reported interest in free agency has been with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Look for the Jaguars to continue to upgrade the tight end position during the draft later this offseason.
2019 Jaguars NFL Draft Profile: Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson
After months of quarterback scouting that have all become relatively moot, it’s time to start going in-depth at other positions of need for the Jacksonville Jaguars here at Locked On Jaguars.
With quarterback Nick Foles in the fold after signing a four year, $88 million deal with the Jaguars last week, it’s safe to assume quarterback is just about out of the picture for the team’s seventh overall selection in next month’s NFL Draft. Sure, the Jaguars could elect to draft a QB to backup Foles and eventually utilize the two-year “out” to usher in his heir, but that seems highly unlikely at this point. Jacksonville paid Foles to be their franchise quarterback, and they must build around him immediately to get things back on track.
In which case, the Jaguars need to add weapons on offense. During his time in Philadelphia over the past two years, Foles has targeted tight ends on 33% of his 296 passing attempts. It helps that the Eagles had multiple talented TEs on their roster during that time in Zach Ertz, Trey Burton, Brent Celek, and Dallas Goedert, but the Jaguars must attempt to replicate the tight end production Foles had that helped him find so much success.
T.J. Hockenson from the University of Iowa can immediately provide a spark at the tight end position and replicate that formula.
The redshirt sophomore burst onto the scene during the 2018 season, hauling in 49 receptions for 760 yards and six touchdowns in Iowa’s 52.9%-to-47.1% run-to-pass offense. Iowa ran a ton of multiple tight end sets, mainly 12-personnel (1 RB/2 TE), in order to add bodies to the tackle box for the run game and best utilize both Hockenson and fellow Hawkeyes tight end Noah Fant – who, like Hockenson, is a projected first round pick. The two tight ends combined for 88 receptions, 1279 yards, and 13 touchdowns in 2018.
The differences between Hockenson and Fant, which were drawn out well by my friend Ryan Keiran of PatsPulpit.com, are their playstyles at the same general position. Fant is going to be a dynamic receiving tight end on a bit of an NFL learning curve as he is far from a polished blocker, who is best utilized as the new “big-slot” TE that the NFL is beginning to transition towards.
I’ll do a full film review on Fant at another time here at Locked On Jaguars, but my early take is he’s an Evan Engram-style of tight end who would benefit from a pass-happy, vertical offense. Not all of these teams need a tight end, but the Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be great fits for Fant who could move him around and play him vertically.
Hockenson is much more universal in terms of scheme fit. He’s athletic enough to play vertically, like Fant, fluid and explosive enough to win in the underneath game, and is the best run-blocking tight end prospect I’ve ever evaluated. And that last nugget is something that will undoubtedly catch the eye of the power-run heavy Jacksonville Jaguars.
Let’s get to the film. Be prepared – there’s really no negative aspects to his game.
I typically don’t clip up a lot of run blocking plays for film reviews, because you can usually get a good feel for a player’s ability in that aspect from a couple of early-down reps.
But good lord, T.J. Hockenson makes run blocking a sport of it’s own – and he’s a first-team All Pro in it.
Hockenson’s pure strength and explosion into his block is enough to “wow” you from an entertainment perspective, but his technique makes the difference between a “good” block, and the “great” block that leads to him driving the defensive end 10 yards backwards and into the turf. His fluid explosion through contact out of his three point stance creates instant pad-level leverage by getting the DE vertical. Hockenson maintains the lower pad-level and his strong hands stick in the chest frame despite the defender attempting to wiggle himself free like a fish in a fishnet.
You’ll never, ever see Hockenson quit on a block until the whistle is blown. His rep is won by the time the standing EDGE defender crosses the numbers at the top of the field, but Hockenson drives him out of bounds and into the sideline area a yard behind the line of scrimmage. When Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin stated “I suggest we adopt the term ‘grit’ as a way to define ourselves,” at the Jaguars’ State of the Franchise press conference in 2017, plays like this are what he was referring to.
Hockenson plays with grit on every snap.
Hockenson is more than just an in-line blocker. He’s equally as dominant as a space blocker, which will reap benefits for a team that will use him in pass protection vs. loaded boxes and blitz. Diagnose this look as Cover 2-man underneath with the MIKE linebacker responsible for Hockenson (hovering over the left tackle behind the DE). The MIKE reads pass from the QB – the play was a QB draw – and gets his eyes up to Hockenson quickly, but even with eyes on the tight end, the MIKE was unable to stand his ground from the bulldozer of a blocking tight end and eats dirt. It’s the same thing over and over again, whether it’s in-line or out in space – Hockenson wins with a fantastic combination of athleticism and technique which cements his high floor as a blocker at the NFL level.
Hockenson’s technique becomes important when taking on rush and disengaging moves from opposing rushers and defenders. Hockenson wins with initial leverage and hand placement, but the defender gets an arm free to attempt top rip out Hockenson’s arms. But with the lower pad level, Hockenson can get his disengaged arm back up-and-under through the rip and back into the defenders chest, and turn him 180 degrees away from the play.
The next six clips will be the last of Hockenson’s blocking breakdown before moving to his receiving ability, all displaying his ability to seal-block on designed runs and backfield throws to completely open up the field. This obviously requires the previously stated technique and strength through blocks, but the processing speed to diagnose his responsibilities and time his blocks, as a lead-block from H-back/fullback, in-line, and out in space. He can do it all.
Simply put: Enjoy.
You’ve probably had a lot of fun watching T.J. Hockenson, the blocker, so far… (or maybe not, and maybe I’m just a football nerd).
But I promise you, that’s not all the Iowa product has to offer. The Jaguars prioritize the ability to run block in their tight ends, but in today’s NFL, tight ends need to contribute significantly as receiving threats in order to be considered dynamic.
Hockenson hasn’t mastered all nine routes of the route tree, but he’s proven he can win multiple routes in all three levels of the playing field. His athletic testing results (see below) also offer promise that Hockenson can develop on just about any route there is, too. It’s not that Hockenson struggled with certain routes – he just wasn’t asked to run them in Iowa’s run-heavy offense.
His high-pointing ability wasn’t often utilized at Iowa given their run-heavy philosophy, but the talent, size, and technique is there for Hockenson to be the redzone threat the Jaguars have desperately been searching for.
Hockenson squeezes through a tight, two-defender gap on an outside release with explosion off the line in order to breeze by the coverage LB and separate despite little field room in the redzone. The QB lofts a ball to the back of the endzone, and Hockenson’s mix of technique and athleticim finishes the rep. He identifies the ball and times his full-body extension at the top of his vertical jump in order to get both hands on this ball and bring it down in bounds without ever letting the closing defender have a chance to make a recovery play.
In order to win in contested areas such as the redzone, fighting through contact and adjusting to throws is as important as anything. Being nearly 6-5 with a 90th percentile vertical jump (see his athletic profile later in the report) is obviously a benefit in this category, but Hockenson has the natural ability to fight for and win contested throws across the field.
Hockenson releases inside to draw the linebacker off of the seam that he intends to get vertical before breaking into a post on a deep mesh concept to keep the safety modest. This is a well-run, pro-style yet schemed-open route that Hockenson can win on at the next level, but the play turns into a YOLO-pass. The QB scrambles left with pressure closing in, and lets this ball rip back towards the middle of the field where Hockenson is playing the scramble drill back towards the left side of the field. He tracks this underthrown ball while navigating back to the side he came from, fights through contact and comes down with a huge gain on what was on pace to become a 4th-and-long punt.
If the Jaguars intend on running the similar, if not the same, passing concepts with Foles in the fold, then plays like this are important in Hockenson’s evaluation – winning in the short-to-intermediate levels of the passing field. Otherwise known as the routes that make a West Coast offense operate.
Hockenson possesses the explosion off the line and agility to maintain speed through his turns in the route to operate in a timing-based passing offense which can be seen in the fluidity of his release from the slot anf through the deep crossing route – a staple of Jacksonville’s offense over the past two years. And with clean footowork, Hockenson cleanly separates with hip fluidity and no wasted movement as soon as the defender begins to pedal vertically again. So long as the QB leads this ball (after years of watching a QB fail to do so, it’ll be a sigh of relief to see that from Foles), this is a yards-after-catch route that Hockenson would wreak havoc with in the Jaguars’ WCO-offense.
Did someone mention yards after the catch?
Hockenson does a great job at keeping his feet underneath him through vertical route breaks, with no wasted movement whatsoever in order to maintain a comfy cushion from the coverage defender. And once again, this is a timing route based off of play action with a relatively immediate release at the top of the route.
And your arm tackles will do nothing to slow down the Hock. He’s a yards after catch and yards through contact machine.
This rep was just disrespectful, and provides another feel for how Hockenson can transcend the offense beyond WCO concepts and integrate some vertical philosophies.
Hockenson lines up in-line in 23 personnel (2 RB/3 TE) – this looks like it’ll be a run play or short-field pass off play-action to get an easy 3rd and 1 conversion, right?
The outside TEs in Hockenson (to the weak side of the formation) and Fant (strong-side – safety help follows) run a Yankee concept that acts like a deep mesh pattern between the most outside players in the formation, getting vertical up the seam and crossing. With the one-on-one matchup and a rub to benefit from, Hockenson gets wide open and the safety tries to recover as the top of the defense is exposed at the rub.
What makes this rep so disrespectful? Watch the second half of the clip. Hockenson wins route-running leverage vs. his man coverage defender by running an inside release. With so many defenders in the box that make an inside release difficult to manuever, Hockenson literally pulls a swim move on the play-action-biting stack linebacker (#14) and breezes to the middle of the field, easily separating from the man-cover #25.
To begin this crucial 4th and 8 rep, with under a minute left in the game tied 28-28, it’s obviously clutch of Hockenson to make a backside sliding catch to get both across the line-to-gain and into field goal range. That’s just a given.
But his explosion off the line of scrimmage is real. Sure, he plays the line at the snap compared to the top outside WR, but to be three yards removed vertically post-snap before the shorter-build, assumptively quicker and nimbler even crosses the line is impressive for any tight end. And Hockenson matches his LOS burst with a fluid hip-turn at the top of this curl to ensure separation from a breaking safety on the most important play of the game up until this point. The QB getting the ball out late eliminates some of that separation, but Hockenson held up to his end of the deal with ease.
Athletic profile (via MockDraftable.com)
Hockenson offers typical height for the tight end position, but based on his NFL Combine testing, he comes in slightly underweight and with below-average length compared to the average NFL TE.
As mentioned while describing his redzone touchdown catch above, however, Hockenson has legitimate athleticism to cover for his lack of elite size at the position. His vertical (37 1/2″) and broad (123″) rank in the 90th and 91st percentiles among NFL TEs in MockDraftable’s database that has collected testing numbers dating back to the 1999 NFL Draft class.
His top speed comes in above average as well, as he recorded a 4.7s 40 yard dash (68th percentile). This is a huge benefit for any team looking to add some vertical field stretching via Hockenson, and if Jacksonville wants to catch teams off guard beyond their traditional WCO passing concepts, Hockensons’s skillset + measurables give them that flexibility.
Last but not least, Hockenson’s 77th percentile, 7.02s 3 cone drill is a cherry on top. A widely praised drill for testing a players ability to change direction, the Jaguars brass is likely salivating at this number. As mentioned previously, Jacksonville’s WCO concepts require short-field route running and the ability to create YAC in a timing-based play. These factors require twitch and quickness from a change-of-direction standpoint. Hockenson’s 3-cone drill proves one thing: He’s anything but stiff, and at bare minimum he can fit the Jaguars current mold as a receiving TE.
What’s nice is that’s just his floor, and his ceiling can provide so, so much more.
Listen, I understand that selecting a tight end in the top 10 is pretty uncommon, but it isn’t unheard of. Eric Ebron (10th overall, 2014), Vernon Davis (6th overall, 2006), Kellen Winslow Jr. (6th overall, 2004) are the most recent to be selected that high.
Winslow Jr. suffered two early setbacks with a broken leg two games into his rookie season and a torn ACL knocking him out of his second season, but currently ranks 31st all-time in receiving yards among TEs. Assuming he met his career average 650 yards per season in those nearly two fully missed seasons, Winslow would rank 13th all-time in the same category. He was worth the selection in hindsight.
Davis, who is still active today and plays for the Washington Redskins (he played his first 9 1/2 seasons with the San Francisco) currently ranks 9th in all time receiving yards among TEs with 7439. He was worth the selection in hindsight.
Ebron… is a bit of a different story. He’s entering his sixth season in the NFL and looked like a bust with the Detroit Lions, recording 186 catches for 2070 yards and 11 touchdowns in four years there. However, Ebron signed with the Indianapolis Colts this past season, and tore his bust label to shreds. He more than doubled his career touchdowns with 13 alone in 2018, along with 66 receptions for 750 yards – both career highs. The jury is not out on whether or not Ebron’s ability and skillset were worth his selection.
Forget what I said in the introduction about run-blocking: T.J. Hockenson is the best tight end prospect I’ve ever evaluated, period. He’s also the safest offensive player in this draft, and considering the traditional NFL learning curve at the tight end, it’s really rare to ever hear that label being thrown around at the position.
His combination of poise as a blocker in all facets as well as extremely high floor in the pass game for an offense stylized like Jacksonville’s absolutely makes him worth their 7th overall pick, and the Jaguars’ dire need of a tight end right now only further solidifies that.
Quarterback Nick Foles will need as many weapons as he can get here in Jacksonville to get this Jaguars team steered straight. Considering his success in Philadelphia with tight ends, it’s incredibly difficult to assume T.J. Hockenson wouldn’t be one of Foles’ most trusted receiving targets, and as a whole Jacksonville’s most important non-QB offensive player given his immense skill-set as a contributor to the run and the pass game.
REPORT: Jaguars officially sign former Packers LB Jake Ryan
The Jaguars have officially signed former Packers ILB Jake Ryan. While it was reported on Saturday, the Jaguars would be signing the linebacker, there was still a physical pending. Ryan tore his ACL prior to the 2019 season and is still in the middle of his rehab. Today, the Jaguars made it official.
Officially signed ✒️
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) March 19, 2019
Ryan was signed to a 2-year $8M contract with an option during the 2020 season according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. The contract is similar to the contract Austin Seferian-Jenkins deal from last season which essentially boils down to a 1-year prove-it deal.
Jake Ryan (Jaguars), $8M, $1M gtd, $500K signing bonus, salaries $1M ($500K gtd), $5.5M; $31,250 per game active annual, 2020 is option to be exercised prior to 22nd day before 2020 lg yr, if exercised $1M of salary gtd, $1.75M annual playtime incentive
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 19, 2019
Ryan adds another proven veteran linebacker to a group which lacks experience. Before the signing, the Jaguars linebackers on the team were Myles Jack, Telvin Smith, Donald Payne, Blair Brown, Donald Payne, Leon Jacobs, and Nick Deluca. None of them have had much if any experience at the MLB position.
Ryan started 27 games in three seasons with the Packers prior to his injury. He has totaled 213 combined tackles in his career. That is plenty of experience added to the Jaguars linebacker group ahead of the 2019 season. It would not surprise me to see the Jaguars continue to add to the position via the NFL Draft.
It is also worth noting Telvin Smith’s contract cap number reaches its highest point next year ($12.8M). It is possible — if Ryan performs well — for the Jaguars to move on from Smith and move Myles Jack back to his more natural position. Myles Jack will be entering the final year of his rookie contract this season.
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