Yesterday, the Jacksonville Jaguars signed defensive end Matt Roth to a 1-year $3 million contract, and waived rookie punter Durant Brooks. Roth, who is a player I've said would likely wind up on the Jaguars radar, is expected to be a likely starter on the Jaguars defensive line.
So, what does the signing of Matt Roth mean if he's expected to potentially start?
It's possible the Jaguars are not comfortable with how Roth's former college teammate, Aaron Kampman, has progressed. Kampman is coming off his second torn ACL in as many seasons. Kampman has yet to practice with the team and did not make the trip to New England. It's expected the team would bring him along slowly, but they would hope he's ready for the regular season. With the addition of Roth, it could be a depth/fall back plan if Kampman isn't ready to go week one.
It's possible the team has been disappointed with the progress of some of the younger defensive ends like Jeremy Mincey and Larry Hart. Austen Lane was stonewalled last night, but the Roth signing was made before the game was even played. Hart in particular has been disappointing in training camp thus far and looks like he came in overweight. Mincey has been Mincey, which isn't necessarily bad or good. He's always been a try hard guy with some pass rushing ability, but he's ideally a rotational player.
Roth is also multi-dimensional, scheme wise. He's played as both a down end and a stand up 3-4 outside linebacker, playing fairly well at both positions. He could offer a twist in sub packages rushing the passer standing up from a linebacker position.
I tend to think the signing means moreso the first reason, with Aaron Kampman, than anything else.