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Why the Jaguars won't pick up Luke Joeckel's 5th year option

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Thanks to the CBA, the Jaguars can opt to take a fifth-year option for Luke Joeckel, but there are some good reasons why they won't pick it up.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have until May 3rd to decide whether or not they would like to pick up the fifth-year option for left tackle Luke Joeckel's rookie contract. We'll hear more about this as the draft approaches, because that's when most teams officially decide to pick it up, but don't expect the Jaguars to exercise the option for their former third overall pick.

There's a few reasons why the Jaguars would be smart to opt to not pick up Joeckel's option. For starters, he may not and likely won't be one anymore. Given the Jaguars creative contract with free agent signing Kelvin Beachum, it would appear the left tackle position is his to lose. If the Jaguars truly thought the could make due with Joeckel they'd not have signed a player like Beachum with the type of contract he got. Joeckel will likely be on the roster, even if he's not starting, at least to start the season.

The other big reason the Jaguars likely won't, and shouldn't pick up the option, is because it destroys any trade value that Joeckel would have. The fifth-year option for Joeckel would mean his 2017 salary of $11.9 million, would be guaranteed. The fifth-year option salary is determined by the amount of the transition tag for the player in their fourth season in the league, which for the offensive line in 2016 is $11.9 million. If you wanted to trade Joeckel, that immediately sinks his cost because no team is going to want to give up something useful, like a viable draft pick, for a player that's guaranteed $11.9 million the next year, regardless if he's on the roster or not.

The most likely scenarios include the Jaguars passing on picking up his fifth-year option and as long as everything with Beachum is smooth, they can try to trade him mid-season for a pick(s) like they did with Eugene Monroe, which could potentially give them better compensation than a compensatory pick would be if he left in free agency, that they could use a year earlier. They can't really trade Joeckel prior to the season, because they still need to see Beachum on the field since he's coming off an ACL injury. Or, just let Joeckel walk in free agency once they pick up Beachum's four-year option as long as everything with his knee and play is fine.

All in all, there is not really a good reason for the Jaguars to pick up Joeckel's fifth-year option by the May 3rd deadline.