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.
Teams have called the #Jaguars to inquire about starting S Tashaun Gipson, sources say, and the belief is he’s available. Due more than $8M and Jax is in a cap crunch, but Gipson has played at a high level and is only 28.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 6, 2019
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.
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.
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.
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.
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*
Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee officially taken off PUP list
The Jacksonville Jaguars have officially taken wide receiver Marqise Lee off of the physically unable to perform (PUP) list today. Head coach Doug Marrone announced the development at his pre-practice press conference today. Marrone says Lee will be practicing today.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) August 17, 2019
Lee has not practiced or played since his preseason knee injury almost a year ago today. With this progression, the Jaguars will go into the season — at least for now — with their top receivers active and relatively healthy. If Lee is able to make any sort of contribution during the start of the season it will be a major success for the Jaguars.
Currently, the Jaguars have relied on newcomer Chris Conley along with veterans Dede Westbrook, and D.J. Chark along with other newcomers to make up for Lee’s absence. It is not yet known how this will affect the Jaguars roster come the cut-down day.
The Jaguars have not announced a corresponding move as of right now. The roster stands at 91 until they do so.
REPORT: Jaguars sign RB Elijah Hood, release QB Tanner Lee
Earlier today the Jacksonville Jaguars announced the signing of running back Elijah Hood. As a corresponding move, the Jaguars have released quarterback Tanner Lee.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) August 17, 2019
Hood, 5’11” 230 pounds, was originally drafted in the seventh round by the Oakland Raiders. After bouncing around on the Raiders practice squad for the year, he was eventually waived following the 2017 season.
Hood most recently played the Carolina Panthers, however, his time with the Panthers was cut short in 2018 due to a torn ACL. He will get an opportunity to prove himself with the Jaguars and potentially live up to his collegiate career where he accumulated 2,580 yards and 29 touchdowns while at UNC.
With the injury to running back Alfred Blue (ankle) this past Thursday along with other running backs on the roster, the Jaguars needed to add depth at the position. Hood will get every opportunity to make the team, but his chances are rather slim.
Lee, a 2018 6th-round pick by the Jaguars was finally released as a corresponding move to signing Hood. Releasing Lee will not come to much of a shock for Jaguars fans. Lee has struggled throughout the offseason and in the preseason during both of his seasons with the Jaguars. This leaves backup quarterbacks Gardner Minshew and Alex McGough to battle it out in the Jaguars last two preseason games — although it looks like Minshew has the upper hand as of right now.
Jaguars defensive end Datone Jones has inside track on backup job
Earlier this offseason, the Jacksonville Jaguars opted to sign seven-year veteran Datone Jones as a means to create more competition and depth behind defensive end Calais Campbell. At the time, this was seen as more of a roster-filler type move, essentially to make sure the Jaguars have enough bodies during training camp. However, the situation has completely changed due to the way Jones has played during the offseason and into training camp.
Jones, 6’4″ 285 pounds, was originally drafted 26th overall in the 2013 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers. Coming out of UCLA he was expected to make a major impact along the defensive line after accumulating a respectable 62 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks during his senior season. Since being drafted, Jones has bounced around the NFL playing for the Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and, most recently, the Dallas Cowboys.
Jones was not able to make as much of an impact on the Packers’ 3-4 defensive front after bouncing around from the defensive line to — surprisingly — linebacker.
For a short time, Jones signed with the Minnesota Vikings shortly after his contract with the Packers ended and expressed the concern of a position switch during an interview with the Vikings update stating, “They didn’t tell me. I found out on NFL Network that they had moved me to outside linebacker, I kind of knew that I would have to make the adjustment or I wasn’t going to be there anymore. I wanted to come into a place where I felt most natural, where I could really showcase my ability, what I could really do.”
Having to make such a drastic change in his career path after being mildly successful — 73 tackles and nine sacks with the Packers — at another position impacted Jones. While Jones did accumulate the most pressures for the Packers during the 2016 season while playing outside linebacker, it still was not the appropriate position for him to play given his natural ability.
Now with the Jaguars, Jones is back along the defensive line and is thriving. With the backup strong-side defensive end position for the Jaguars being completely wide open, Jones has taken the opportunity afforded to him and could be apart of the first group of players coming onto the field for the normal starters.
The Jaguars have tried for a couple of years now to find a good backup behind Campbell. They drafted defensive tackle/end Taven Bryan in the first round just a year ago, however, he has switched to more of a fulltime role on the interior of the defense. Mostly a disappointment his first two seasons, defensive end Dawuane Smoot has also taken a backseat with the arrival of Jones, giving Jones the inside track to win the primary backup job.
Jones has taken that opportunity and has thrived. Able to come off the ball with speed and power, he has the ability to adequately stop the run along with getting to the quarterback. During the game on Thursday, Jones completely took over the Eagles offensive line. One play in particular from Thursday’s game stands out.
Jones lines up on the defensive edge and is unblocked, getting to the quarterback and knocking him (Cody Kessler) out of the game. These are the type of plays which illustrate why he has earned a spot on the Jaguars 53-man roster.
— Datone Jones AKA TONE_LOCC (@IAM_Dat_One) August 16, 2019
A rotation from normal starters Yannick Ngakoue, Marcell Dareus, Abry Jones, and Campbell to Josh Allen, Bryan, Eli Ankou, and Jones illustrates just how deep the Jaguars are along the defensive line.
This past week head coach Jaguars Doug Marrone was asked about the importance of the defensive end spot behind Campbell.
“I feel good about where we are with our D-Line, I do. In other words, I feel like we have good starters, and I feel like we have good depth. I think we have a lot of players there, guys that will probably be, if you look at the roster, I think that can potentially be the toughest. Who is nine, who is 10 if we keep 10, wherever that goes,” Marrone stated.
“Yan obviously looks great out there, but then all of a sudden [Dontavius] Russell, [Michael] Hughes, Datone Jones, I mean you have guys now, big V [Kalani Vakameilalo] is a big body in there. We have guys now that are in there that are pretty good that it’s going to be a tough call.”
A “tough call” that might have gotten tougher — or easier depending on how you look at it — with the performance Jones put on Thursday and throughout the offseason. Against the Eagles, Jones was credited with three tackles and a quarterback hit, however, it was his persistent pressure and pocket collapsing plays that set him apart from everyone else.
Shortly after the game, reporters spoke to Jones about his strong play against the Eagles. “I just wanted to go out there and execute and compete. I felt like I started off really slow the first preseason game and I felt like I owed it to my teammates to go out there today, execute and put my abilities on film,” Jones said.
“[I wanted to] let guys like Calais [Campbell], Marcell [Dareus] and Yannick [Ngakoue] know that I’m here to compete and I want to be in the lineup with those guys. I want to be here in Sacksonville, sacking quarterbacks. Preseason is all about coming out here and displaying and competing and just having fun with your brothers. Executing, you know.”
It is clear playing behind the Jaguars starting defensive line, and seeing the culture within that group has lit a fire under Jones for the better. If he can provide the same production he has done in the past, the Jaguars may have one of the deepest defensive line groups in the entire league.
Jacksonville Jaguars7 days ago
Jaguars safety Andrew Wingard: “I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t determined”
Jacksonville Jaguars3 days ago
Jaguars vs. Eagles: Ten quick hits post game review
Jacksonville Jaguars1 week ago
2019 Jaguars training camp: Six takeaways from day twelve
Jacksonville Jaguars2 weeks ago
Preseason Week 1: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Baltimore Ravens preview
Jacksonville Jaguars2 weeks ago
Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey on other ideal landing spots: Nashville or Vegas
Jacksonville Jaguars1 week ago
Preseason Week 1: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Baltimore Ravens recap
Jacksonville Jaguars6 days ago
Jaguars 2019 position group breakdown: Wide Receivers
Jacksonville Jaguars2 weeks ago
2019 Jaguars training camp: Fournette has a big day in joint practice