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How would the trade market look for Jaguars safety Tashuan Gipson?

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 25, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson (39) looks on prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Recently a report surfaced from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport regarding free safety Tashaun Gipson and a potential trade market for the 28-year-old. For the Jaguars, they are in a position in which they need to clear some cap space not only for the future but also for any other potential free agents they want to sign this year. It is also worth noting the Jaguars re-signed safety Jarrod Wilson earlier this offseason which could have had an impact on the decision to trade Gipson.

If the Jaguars are going to compete in 2019, they are going to need to figure out a way to get an influx of talent on the offensive side of the ball. This means a few sacrifices on the defensive side of the ball. The Jaguars have already begun this by releasing Barry Church during the 2018 season and are rumored to be shopping defensive tackle Malik Jackson.

One difference in the report regarding Malik Jackson and Tashaun Gipson is that teams are reportedly calling the Jaguars about Gipson. If that is the case, his market could be better than Jackson’s based on a level of interest alone. Gipson originally signed a 5-year $36M contract with $12M guaranteed with the Jaguars during the 2016 offseason. During his three seasons with the team, Gipson accounted for 159 combined tackles, six interceptions, and 16 pass defenses.

Gipson was an instrumental part of the Jaguars 2017 playoff run. With four interceptions and over 50 combined tackles, he was easily one of the best in a group of immense talent. He also has been a sort of ironman since joining the Jaguars after an injury-plagued career in Cleveland. Gipson has started 48/48 games for the Jaguars rarely ever getting injured. If a team would like to acquire his services they know exactly what they are getting. A relatively young safety in his prime with a minimal injury history as of late.

If the Jaguars were to part ways with Gipson they would only have around $1.6M in dead cap space for the 2019 season, and they would save around $7.45M. The team that trades for him will owe him zero guaranteed money for the remaining two years on his contract. This contract is similar to the one Malik Jackson signed which included all of the money up front (within the first two seasons), with an easy out after afterward.

That being said, what would the market look like exactly for Gipson? Although there are several safeties hitting the free agency market there are very few without faults. Eric Weddle is 34 years old, Tyrann Mathieu has had some injury concerns recently, and Earl Thomas has been injury prone and may be pricy.

San Francisco 49ers

2019 Cap Space: $68,295,872

The 49ers have a ton of cap space entering the 2019 season. The safety position may be the biggest need on their roster currently besides defensive end. D.J. Reed — a fifth-round pick from 2018 — is set to be their starting free safety, and his backup has one career interception. It is safe to say there is a need here. Not only is the need, and cap space there, the 49ers also have a former Jaguars coach on their staff. Robert Saleh — the 49ers defensive coordinator — was the Jaguars linebackers coach from 2014-2016 during the Gus Bradley era. Although it was only for one season, there is some familiarity there.

One issue regarding a trade here would be the 49ers current draft capital. They only have five draft picks in this upcoming draft. With no 5th or 7th round picks they may be hesitant to engage in a trade. It may be possible for the 49ers to trade away a 4th round (#105 overall) pick for Gipson, however, it is unlikely.

I expect his value to be anywhere from a 5th to 7th round pick considering the Jaguars will likely be releasing the safety if there are no trade partners in an effort to save cash. Considering all of these factors, it may be possible the 49ers decide Gipson is worth surrendering one of their picks as the rookie safety class is relatively barren.

Dallas Cowboys

2019 Cap Space: $27,468,675

The Dallas Cowboys are another team which should be on the radar for Tashaun Gipson. Currently, they are set to have over $27M in cap space and have a huge need at free safety with Byron Jones moving back to Corner. The Cowboys do not have much in the way of depth at safety with Xavier Woods — a rookie draft pick in 2018 — slated to start.

It was reported that prior to the trade deadline the Cowboys were very interested in Seattle’s Earl Thomas. It is safe to say the Cowboys are looking for help in their secondary, and Tashaun Gipson would be the perfect man for the job. With only a $7M cap hit for 2019 after the Jaguars trade him, Gipson would count for roughly half of what Thomas is reportedly expecting to receive on the open market.

Although the Cowboys do not have a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, they do have the rest of their picks. With the Cowboys slated to be a major contender in the NFC East, it would behoove them to acquire as much talent as possible. With the need and urgency, the Jaguars may be able to get at least a 5th round (#106 overall) pick from the Cowboys for Gipson. Gipson would greatly improve their already growing secondary and the Cowboys will have a playmaking safety for the first time in many years.

Seattle Seahawks

2019 Cap Space: $33,033,157

With the Seattle Seahawks officially losing All-Pro Safety Earl Thomas to free agency this offseason they are likely in the running for a potential replacement.

Although Tedric Thompson, a 3rd-year safety out of Colorado, played relatively well last season in place of an injured Earl Thomas, the position still needs to be upgraded. What the Seahawks were missing in their secondary was a ball hawk. And although Gipson’s interceptions were down a bit last year, he still has the prowess to make game-changing plays around the ball which is what made him a priority for GM Dave Caldwell and Head Coach (at the time) Gus Bradley.

The Seahawks have enough cap space to take on Gipson’s contract who would come in much cheaper and a year younger than the person he will ultimately be replacing — Earl Thomas. The Seahawks have been attempting to replicate their dominance in the secondary, and Gipson would absolutely fit in their defense and. One issue the Seahawks have is their lack of late round picks. Currently, the latest pick the Seahawks are set to have is their 5th round pick. It is possible the Jaguars would be willing to acquire a 2020 pick for Gipson, however, it is more likely they want to acquire a draft pick in this year’s draft.

Oakland Raiders

2019 Cap Space: $71,240,680

The Raiders have one of the highest cap numbers in the entire NFL this offseason at over $71M. This means, regardless of the contract, Gipson wouldn’t even make a dent in their cap space. Currently, the Raiders are slated to start journeyman Marcus Gilcrest with Reggie Nelson as his backup at free safety for this upcoming season. If the Raiders want to improve their 19th rank pass defense from last year they may want to start at the safety position. Head Coach Jon Gruden is notorious for preferring experienced veterans on defense which Gipson absolutely qualifies for.

The Raiders are also rich in draft capital this offseason with 10 total picks including seven five picks in the first five rounds. Given that, the Raiders may be more likely than any other team to offer a draft pick for Gipson’s services. One likely pick is around the 5th round range again at pick number 142. Even though the Raiders are rebuilding this offseason they still have an opportunity to rebound quickly given their cap space and draft capital.

Philidelphia Eagles

2019 Cap Space: $18,609,190

The Philadelphia Eagles have a lot of decisions to make this offseason. Not only did they have to decide whether or not to retain Quarterback Nick Foles, but they also had to re-sign Defensive End Brandon Graham. The Eagles have the least amount of cap space available from this list of teams, and will still have to look forward to re-signing starting Quarterback Carson Wentz in the very near future.

Although this may seem to indicate the Eagles would likely opt to draft a safety instead of trading for one, their window of opportunity to compete in, or win the Superbowl might be closing sooner rather than later with aging players and expiring contracts. If the Eagles want to compete in the NFC East yet again this season they could use a playmaking safety in their secondary and Gipson would provide that. This also may be one of Gipson’s more preferred choices in landing spots along with the Seahawks and Cowboys.

Fortunately, the Eagles also have a decent amount of draft picks with 8 total. The Eagles could be willing to surrender a 5th round pick for Gipson’s services, or they could send over one of their two 6th round picks if his market is lower than expected.

*All cap space figures in this article are via OverTheCap.com and are updated as of 3/7/2019*

Demetrius Harvey is the lead editor for the Locked on Jaguars website covering breaking news, breakdowns, and more. You can follow him at @Demetrius82 on twitter.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

What should the Jaguars do at linebacker with Myles Jack?

Demetrius Harvey

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Oct 14, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack (44) warms up prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Due to the unexpected leave of absence by Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith, the Jaguars have found themselves in a precarious situation. Telvin Smith had been the Jaguars starting weak-side linebacker since his rookie year in 2014. Starting 69 games since 2014 Smith has accumulated a total of 445 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and nine interceptions.

The Jaguars are going to absolutely struggle to replace his production, regardless of how anyone felt about how he played during the 2018-2019 season. The first name which comes to mind in discussing what should happen at the weak-side linebacker position is Myles Jack.

Prior to 2018, Jack started all over the field for the Jaguars. During the 2017 season, Jack was the Jaguars starting middle linebacker in nickel situations — splitting time with former Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny in base formations. Finally being allowed to start full time for the Jaguars, Jack had a solid season by all accounts accumulating 107 combined tackles, 2.5 sacks and one interception — his best season statistically as a Jaguar.

One of the primary issues the Jaguars have had on defense has been communication issues. Communication issues can come from any level of the defense, however, the middle linebacker is essentially the quarterback. He calls the plays in the huddle or just prior to the snap, and lines everyone up. Having someone more experienced or as experienced as Jack at this position is crucial. This begs the question — should Myles Jack move to weak-side linebacker?

Jack recently spoke out against the idea of moving to Will talking to John Reid of Jacksonville.com and other local media members at Calais Campbell’s second annual bowling classic event, “I’m playing Mike ’backer, there’s no question about it,” Jack stated. “Obviously, there’s no secret we’re going to have to find a Will (weak-side linebacker). As for me, I’m playing Mike until my time up here in Jacksonville is done.″

It is completely understandable why Jack would not want to change positions as he has his entire career thus far in Jacksonville. The Jaguars should think long and hard about which configuration is best for the football team. Having to throw in someone new such as Jake Ryan immediately into the fray could potentially ruin any good momentum you already had at the position.

One of the best possible outcomes would be for rookie third-round pick Quincy Williams to win the weak-side linebacker battle outright. Although he is obviously very raw coming out of Murray State, the Jaguars stated in their post-draft presser that Williams has “starter traits”. If they have to move Jack, there will be potentially three completely new starters for the Jaguars at the linebacker positions on opening day. The Jaguars will likely want to keep the defense intact going into the 2019 season.

Jake Ryan was signed by the Jaguars earlier this offseason. And although he has plenty of experience at inside linebacker — two years starting with the Packers –, he is not even one year removed from a torn ACL. Not only will Ryan be behind in terms of on-field play, but he is also brand new to the Jaguars defense — although it is someone vanilla. All of the struggles Jack had at MLB last year may be amplified with Ryan this year.

Potential Starting Combinations:

WLB — Quincy Williams
MLB — Myles Jack
SLB — Jake Ryan

Pros:

  • Myles Jack stays at one position for longer than a season
  • Jaguars can get Jake Ryan on the field in some capacity

Cons:

  • Rookie weak-side linebacker

WLB — Quincy Williams
MLB — Myles Jack

SLB — Josh Allen

Pros:

  • Myles Jack at a consistent position
  • Josh Allen playing a primary role on defense
  • The speed at the LB position

Cons:

  • Lack of experience at two LB spots
  • Myles Jack possibly not at “natural” position

WLB — Myles Jack
MLB — Jake Ryan

SLB — Josh Allen

Pros:

  • Myles Jack moves back to his natural position
  • Jake Ryan offers veteran experience and leadership at MLB position
  • Josh Allen gains experience at linebacker in year one

Cons:

  • Myles Jack moving positions again
  • Jake Ryan first-year Jaguars MLB coming off a torn ACL

Solution: 

The Jaguars may feel the best configuration for their initial starting lineup at linebacker will be to allow Myles Jack to start his contract year at middle linebacker. Jack — having a full year starting at MLB — will be much more comfortable and allow the Jaguars to have some continuity at the position for the first time in three years. This leaves Quincy Williams as the starter at weak-side linebacker in his rookie year.

Whether it be Jake Ryan starting out at SAM or Josh Allen, the Jaguars should be happy about the production coming from the strong-side linebacker position. Josh Allen may not start out right away due to being primarily in a pass-rushing role during his rookie year, however — with experience –, he may be able to give the Jaguars no choice in the matter.

The most uncomfortable part of this formation would be the Jaguars starting two rookies on their defense. Inexperience on the Jaguars defense could be their Achilles heel. If the Jaguars were to start both rookies at linebacker, the Jaguars would have a combined 10 starts between four starters in the Jaguars defense. Jarrod Wilson and Ronnie Harrison have started 10 games together.

Whatever the Jaguars choose initially with their starting combination at linebacker, it could very easily be changed before the regular season begins. The Jaguars did not want to have to make this many changes to their defense in such a short period, however, Telvin Smith has forced their hand.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

REPORT: Jaguars workout free agent RB Mike Gillislee

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 9, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back Mike Gillislee (35) stiff arms Washington Redskins linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton (51) during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

As the Jaguars prepare to open up voluntary OTAs next week, they are still forming their ideal 90-man roster. A position which has been completely revamped has been the RB position. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Jaguars brought in former Patriots and Saints RB Mike Gillislee for a workout.

Gillislee most recently played for the New Orleans Saints only seeing action in four games accumulating 43 yards on 16 attempts and zero touchdowns. His most successful season came as a member of the Buffalo Bills where he accumulated 576 yards on 101 attempts and nine touchdowns.

The Jaguars attempted to sign him last year, however, he signed with the Saints. The Jaguars may want to simply do their due diligence on a running back they had a prior interest in, just in case.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars 53-Man Roster Prediction: Undrafted city of the south?

Connor Neal

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Sep 11, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; A view of the Jacksonville Jaguars stadium during the second half of a football game at EverBank Field.The Green Bay Packers won 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

May 9th was a busy day for the Jaguars. On top of Telvin Smith announcing that he will step away from football for the 2019 season, they also finalized their 90-man roster. I wanted to take a deeper dive into each position to see who will make the final roster. There is a lot of talent the Jaguars will have to part within these coming months.

I will be breaking down each position individually.

Quarterback (3): 

Nick Foles (Starter), Gardner Minshew (Backup), Alex McGough (3rd String)

The true battle here is between Alex McGough and Tanner Lee for a roster spot.

Runningback (4):

Leonard Fournette (Starter), Ryquell Armstead (Backup), Alfred Blue (3rd String), Benny Cunningham (4th String)

I believe Ryquell Armstead will earn the backup position to Leonard Fournette before the season starts. Once Fournette goes down with an injury, don’t be surprised if Armstead blows you away with his talent. Thomas Rawls isn’t likely to make the roster but the Jaguars could give him a roster spot over Benny Cunningham if they so choose.

Wide Receiver (6):

Dede Westbrook (Starter), Marqise Lee (Starter), Chris Conley (Starter), DJ Chark Jr (Backup), Keelan Cole (3rd String), Tyre Brady (4th String)

Tyre Brady is a player who could jeopardize Keelan Cole’s roster spot if he shines in rookie camp. Cole’s performance last year was disappointing, especially after he stood out as an undrafted rookie. Chris Conley, currently, is better than DJ Chark. DJ Chark has the potential to be a good starting wide receiver in the NFL, but he has to develop first.

Tight End (3):

Josh Oliver (Starter), Geoff Swaim (Backup), James O’Shaughnessy (3rd String)

Josh Oliver, Jaguars third-round pick out of San Jose State, will likely be the starter. However, because Oliver has virtually no blocking skills Geoff Swaim will be the lead blocking tight end on the team.

Offensive Tackle (4):

Cam Robinson (Starter), Jawaan Taylor (Starter), Will Richardson (Backup), Josh Wells (Backup)

There aren’t many surprises at this position. The Jaguars former second-round pick, Cam Robinson, and this year’s first-round pick, Jawaan Taylor, will be starters. Jawaan Taylor will compete with Will Richardson for the starting right tackle position. However, it shouldn’t be hard for Taylor to secure that starting spot.

Offensive Guard (4):

Andrew Norwell (Starter), AJ Cann (Starter), KC McDermott (Backup), Donnell Greene (Backup)

AJ Cann could make right guard the biggest need for the Jaguars this coming season. Cann is a bad offensive lineman, who will have the starting role because of lack of competition. It was surprising the Jaguars didn’t draft a guard during the 2019 NFL Draft. Keep an eye out for Donnell Greene, an undrafted free agent out of Minnesota.

Center (2):

Brandon Linder (Starter), Tyler Shatley (Backup)

Brandon Linder, a converted guard, has been outstanding thus far through his career as a center. His starting spot will not be at risk.

Defensive Tackle (5):

Calais Campbell (Starter), Marcell Dareus (Starter), Taven Bryan (Backup), Abry Jones (Backup), Dontavius Russell (3rd String)

In this scenario, I have the Jaguars pushing Calais Campbell inside to defensive tackle. If they chose to start Josh Allen at EDGE, Campbell should be pushed inside as he will beat out Taven Bryan with ease. It isn’t likely the Jaguars chose to do this, but if they do, their defensive line will be scary good.

Defensive End (4):

Yannick Ngakoue (Starter), Josh Allen (Starter), Dawuane Smoot (Backup), Lerentee McCray (Backup)

As I mentioned earlier, I have the Jaguars starting Josh Allen at EDGE instead of Campbell. If the Jaguars decide to start Campbell at EDGE, which is likely, Allen could start for the Jaguars at linebacker if they want to utilize him instantly.

Linebacker (5):

Myles Jack (Starter), Jake Ryan (Starter), Quincy Williams (Starter), Leon Jacobs (Backup), Joe Giles-Harris (Backup)

Quincy Williams, the shocking third-round pick, has a good chance to start since Telvin Smith will not play football in this upcoming season. If the Jaguars choose to play Josh Allen at linebacker, he would fit best at strong-side linebacker. So, they could shift Myles Jack over to weak-side linebacker and have Jake Ryan start at middle linebacker instead. If that happens, Quincy Williams will not start. Once Telvin Smith broke the news that he will not return this year, the chances of Joe Giles-Harris’s chances of making the roster skyrocketed. Giles-Harris is a player I personally would have been fine with the Jaguars taking in the third-round over Quincy Williams.

Cornerback (6): 

Jalen Ramsey (Starter), AJ Bouye (Starter), DJ Hayden (Starter), Quenton Meeks (Backup), Saivion Smith (Backup), Tre Herndon (3rd String)

The Jaguars starters here are incredible, that can’t be said about the depth. Quentin Meeks was an undrafted free agent last year who, last season, started in 1 game and played in 8. If the Jaguars chose to sign Saivion Smith and Tre Herndon after rookie camp, there would be 3 undrafted free agents that would be serving as the Jaguars depth. Two of those free agents, Meeks and Smith, were expected to be drafted in the mid rounds of their respective drafts.

Safety (4):

Ronnie Harrison (Starter), Jarrod Wilson (Starter), Cody Davis (Backup), Zedrick Woods (Backup)

Ronnie Harrison played great last season after he beat out Barry Church for the starting strong safety position. Jarrod Wilson is an intriguing player as he has only started 2 games for the Jaguar in his 3 years on the team. Free safety was a position many expected the Jaguars to address in the 2019 NFL Draft, but the Jaguars felt safe with Wilson as the starting free safety. Wilson has the potential to be a good starter, but we will have to wait and see how he turns out.

Kicker (1):

Josh Lambo (Starter)

Punter (1):

Logan Cooke (Starter)

Long snapper (1):

Matt Overton (Starter)

Kick Returner:

DJ Chark (Starter)

Punt Returner:

Dede Westbrook (Starter)

Moves I wouldn’t be shocked to see happen:

QB: Tanner Lee as the 3rd string quarterback over Alex McGough.

RB: Thomas Rawls beating out Benny Cunningham for the 4th string running back position.

WR: The Jaguars dropping Keelan Cole and keeping undrafted free agents Tyre Brady or Dredrick Snelson to fill in his role as a 3rd string wide receiver.

OL: Donnell Greene beating out AJ Cann for the starting right guard position before the season is over with.

DL: The Jaguars utilizing Josh Allen at both EDGE and linebacker.

LB: Joe Giles-Harris starting at weak-side linebacker over Quincy Williams.

CB: The Jaguars signing undrafted free agent Tae Hayes over fellow undrafted free agent Tre Herndon as the 3rd string cornerback.

S: The Jaguars choosing to keep Andrew Wingard over the speedster, Zedrick Woods, as a backup safety.

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