Now that the Super Bowl is over an done with, we can finally go full speed ahead looking at the 2017 NFL offseason and talk about what moves the Jacksonville Jaguars should be making. The team will have to make a decision on some of their own free agents, but more importantly they're going to need to make some decisions on certain players with big cap numbers.
I do want to make it clear first, that the Jaguars are projected to have over $60 million in cap room and they don't actually have to release any players if they plan to spend a lot of money in free agency. There is a common misconception that if they spend they'll hinder signing younger players going forward, but that is not the case.
Now, the first player we're going to discuss is defensive lineman Jared Odrick. Odrick's cap hit for the 2017 season is set to be $8.5 million with no guaranteed money remaining, which means that if the Jaguars decide to release him, they'll gain the full amount, $8.5 million, back in cap savings.
Odrick, 29, was originally signed by the Jaguars in the 2015 offseason, getting a five-year, $42 million contract with $22.5 million guaranteed. As mentioned at the time of the deal however, was that for all intents and purposes with was a two-year contract with a series of one-year team options filling out the final three seasons. All of the guaranteed money was paid within the first two years to give the Jaguars flexibility if the deal did not work out.
The Jaguars may not have gotten their money's worth with Odrick, which is rare in the age of NFL free agency, but he was a solid player in multiple spots on the defensive line for Jacksonville in his first two seasons with the team. He was signed to play the big end role in Gus Bradley's defense and did exactly that. He was not usually a liability and often made some critical plays, but if the Jaguars defensive scheme changes from what they had been doing in the past, his position is kind of pushed out and the team has a log jam of players similar to Odrick at a much lower salary.
Jacksonville will have to make a decision on Odrick's future going forward relatively soon, though, as there is a $2 million roster bonus due if Odrick is on the roster on March 13th.