Today is the last day before the free agency frenzy of the 2012 offseason and the salary cap numbers for each team is crucial for figuring out which teams have the finances necessary to make the moves to build a winning football team. Many teams, like the Indianapolis Colts, are making moves to free up cap room as they've made moves to free up millions of dollars worth of cap room by releasing Peyton Manning, Dallas Clark, Gary Brackett, Melvin Bullitt and Joseph Addai.
While the Jaguars have roughly $36 million of cap room, there are easy options available for them to free up even more room so that they can have the money necessary to make a big splash in free agency. Namely, they could work to avoid the almost $5 million hit that Aaron Kampman is due to cause by staying on the roster.
As pointed out by Scout.com's Aaron Wilson, between 2008 first round bust, Derrick Harvey, and 2010 free agency bust, Kampman, the Jaguars have about $11 million of potential dead money on their roster at the defensive end position alone. That's more than an eighth of their entire salary cap spent on two players that haven't done anything for the team in a long time and are unlikely to do much for the Jaguars in the near future.
Kampman showed a lot of promise in his first eight games with the Jaguars, recording four sacks and several pressures, but a torn ACL ended his 2010 season and complications from that injury plagued most of his 2011 season. The few times he did see the field, Kampman lacked any burst off the line of scrimmage and was largely ineffective, not recording a single tackle.
If the Jaguars believe that Kampman still has a future as a player there's certainly an argument that can be made to keep him on the roster, but it's much more difficult to argue that he'll be effective enough to warrant a $4.975 million salary cap hit.
Re-structuring the contract of Kampman to reflect a contract closer to the one that Rashean Mathis just signed with the Jaguars when he signed a contract with a base salary of $950,000 with incentives that could balloon the deal to $5 million, could help the team free about $4 million worth of cap room. If he's unwilling to restructure, the Jaguars should release the veteran defensive end and save the full $4.795 million.
It is feasible that the Jaguars could pay Jeremy Mincey about $6 million/year and go after Mario Williams in free agency, but they would be even more ready to do so if they made a move with Kampman to free up even more cap room. A move that seems like a no-brainer at this point.