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How Much Can the Jaguars Actually Spend in FA?

We've gone over that the Jacksonville Jaguars plan to be active in free agency, and likely will sign at least two defensive starters. I'd expect the Jaguars to target at least one "big-name" free agent player (like a Eric Weddle or Barrett Ruud) which is going to bring a nice price tag along with it. How much can the Jaguars realistically spend, though?

Last season, the Jaguars signed Aaron Kampman to a 4-year deal worth $26 million. That is somewhat of a moderately priced contract for the caliber of player Kampman is, and it helped that he was coming off a torn ACL. His contract is probably the mid-to-low end of what the Jaguars can look to be spending on the defensive starters they plan to target, assuming they're targeting higher tier players.

We know the Jaguars ranked 30th last year in salary, if there were a salary cap, spending only $89.5 million. For the 2011 NFL season, it's safe to assume there will be a cap when a new CBA is reached. With a salary cap also comes the salary floor, which all talks point to it being raised a bit. The Jaguars would have fallen well below the salary floor in 2010 had their been a cap.

So, how much will they actually spend? Will it just be one top tier free agent and then 1-3 mid-tier players?

Just looking at what the plan "is", it seems as if the Jaguars are going to be opening and clearing out the wallet.

  • The Jaguars would need to sign a Top 10 draft pick quarterback, in Blaine Gabbert
  • The Jaguars would need to sign Marcedes Lewis to a long-term deal.
  • The Jaguars would sign 2-3 high level free agents.

Just those three moves alone are going to stretch the cap. When that's done, the Jaguars will need to make some decisions on some players.

  • David Garrard is set to make nearly $8 million.
  • Derrick Harvey is set to make nearly $3 million.
  • Vince Manuwai is set to make nearly $3 million.
  • Rashean Mathis is set to make $4.5 million
  • Brad Meester is set to make nearly $2 million
  • Greg Jones is set to make $3 million
  • Justin Smiley is set to make $2 million

It's unlikely that these players will be outright released. Some however, could be offered up in trade or be asked to have their salaries reduced.