The Jaguars spent quite a bit in free agency this year, certainly more than anyone expected. They were able to land the best guard in the free agent class, Andrew Norwell. They re-signed WR Marqise Lee to a deal worth over $8 million per year. They signed WR Donte Moncrief to a one year deal worth nearly $10 million. The team signed nickel cornerback DJ Hayden to a deal worth over $6 million per year. They also added TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE Niles Paul, DB Don Carey, and DB Cody Davis.
Of course, in the typical fashion of Dave Caldwell and John Idzik contracts, none of these new signings will handicap the Jaguars greatly in the future. But they still spent quite a bit of money in free agency.
After their big flurry of free agent signings the Jaguars turned their attention towards massaging the cap, to create more flexibility throughout the rest of this offseason and moving forward.
On Sunday the Jaguars were able to create $6 million in cap space by changing Telvin Smith's $8 million roster bonus into a signing bonus.
Then on Tuesday the Jaguars were able to free up over $10 million in cap space by releasing two veterans. Parting ways with Allen Hurns saved the Jaguars $7 million, while cutting Marcedes Lewis, the team's longest tenured player, saved the Jags $3.5 million.
After the bevy of free agent signings last week neither player fit into the team's short or long term plans. Many fans were disturbed by the release of Lewis and Hurns, but this is a business. Hurns and Lewis themselves spoke out about how they wished things would have gone down differently. But if the team had "done right" by Hurns and Lewis and cut them prior to free agency - giving the two players more opportunity to find a new home - then the Jaguars could have wound up hurting themselves, had they not been able to sign all of the guys that they did.
This is just another example of the Jaguars front office seeing the big picture. They've freed up enough cap space to be flexible the rest of this offseason and also set themselves up to be able to re-sign players like Yannick Ngakoue, Jalen Ramsey, and Myles Jack in the years to come.
Stay tuned for more!
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