The Jacksonville Jaguars have released veteran offensive guard Uche Nwaneri, according to a report by Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union. The move is a bit of a surprise, but Nwaneri was always on the fringe of the roster going forward given his salary and decline in play.
Nwaneri's 2014 cap hit was roughly $5.9 million and the team will eat $2.2 million in dead money with the move. The Jaguars save nearly $3.7 million in cap room by releasing the 29-year old veteran pushing their cap room to over $60 million.
Originally drafted in the fifth-round out of Purdue in the 2007 NFL Draft, Nwaneri was one of the few remaining Shack Harris players left on the roster. Nwaneri's play had started to decline the past few seasons as he consistently dealt with leg injuries. He signed a six-year, $25 million contract in 2010 after he established himself as an above average starter.
Nwaneri was due a $1 million roster bonus this season, which likely spurred the move before the start of free agency. It also gives him a shot to stick with another team, which is something Dave Caldwell has afforded most of the veterans on the Jaguars roster since he took over. Nwaneri was a decent starter the past two seasons, but at his salary it makes sense for the team to look to get younger.
The move definitely points to the Jaguars targeting at least one interior offensive line in free agency next week.