[Note by River City Rage, 06/16/08 3:20 PM EDT ] I was shortsighted in this piece and forgot the most obvious effect of the releases. The Jaguars now have 75 players under contract and 5 unsigned draft picks. The team released these five players to make room for the draft picks that should begin signing over the next few weeks. You can only have 80 players under contract, so rather than sign and cut as each contract is finalized, the Jaguars are cutting ties now and (hopefully) giving them a shot to end up somewhere else.
The Jacksonville Jaguars had to reduce their roster by five to get to the league mandated 80 players under contract. None of the cuts are terribly surprising, but they do clear up the overall roster picture a bit.
The cuts were:
1. Defensive End Brian Smith: We all saw this coming. His hip injury from college just never healed up in a way where he could show the Jaguars much of anything. This is a clear cut 4th round miss, as he spent his entire tenure with the Jaguars, albeit short, on the Physically unable to Perform (PUP) and Injured Reserve lists. With the crowded field at DE, there's no reason to burn a roster spot on someone who will probably never play a down in the NFL.
2. Long Snapper Brett Goode: Special Teams Specialist, nuff said.
3. Isaac "don't call me Ivan" Smolko: This was perhaps the most "surprising" cut, as the amount of injuries at the tight end position is concerning, but perhaps he'll be available later on if needed.
4. Craphonso Thorpe: One less wide receiver in the mix, though there was pretty much no chance for Thorpe to make the roster. I hope he gave us lots of secrets about the Colts playbook though while he was here.
5. Offensive Tackle Ryan Gibbons: Northeastern University undrafted rookie from 2006, he spend most of his time on the practice squad.
What does this mean for the roster?
The most interesting observation I can make about these cuts is that none of this year's UFA's were released. Guys like Lamar Myles, Jeron Harvey, Brian Witherspoon, and Adam Bishop who've got an uphill fight to make even the practice squad can breathe just a little bit easier.
Bishop, particulary, must have shown something if he's still on the roster and Smolko is gone.