Now that the Super Bowl has been decided, it means the offseason talk is going to ramp up quickly for teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars. They’ve filled out their coaching staff, which included the hiring of offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. We can now start looking at the roster and trying to figure out what the team is going to have in 2019 and what they could be adding and what positions they’ll want to be adding to.
You can read about the Jaguars salary cap situation right here for now, until the official numbers are released, that’s the best we’ll get.
First up, we will look at the quarterback position.
Players under contract in 2019:
Blake Bortles: The former first round pick is technically under contract for 2019, but all experts expect him to be released.
Cody Kessler: Kessler started a few games in 2018 and proved to everyone he is exactly what we thought he was: A backup quarterback who can come in and not absolutely lose you the game, but if he’s starting for more than a singular game, you’re in trouble. Kessler will likely be back in 2019 to compete in training camp since his salary cap hit is just over $900,000.
Alex McGough: Recently signed from the Seattle Seahawks practice squad, I’d expect McGough to have the inside track as a backup/third quarterback in this offseason. He’s young enough where he can still develop into a potential long term backup and apparently the Jaguars gave him a decent deal for someone being pulled off a practice squad, so I think he will be here in 2019 unless he’s just an absolute failure.
Potential cap cuts:
Blake Bortles: $21 million salary cap hit, savings of $4.5 million on the cap if released with offset language capping at $6 million, making the total potential savings $11 million. The team can also use a Post-June 1 cut designation which will make the full cap savings $9.5 million, however the additional $5 million in cap room would not be made available until after June 1.
Potential free agent options:
Nick Foles: I personally do not think that the Jaguars will make a run at Nick Foles despite the DeFilippo connection everyone is making. If they do, I’m all for it, but I have a hard time seeing a team who balked at Kirk Cousins starting point turning around and offering what will mostly likely be $23 million or more per year for Nick Foles. They certainly won’t trade for him if the Eagles go that route.
Joe Flacco: While he’s technically not a free agent, I think it’s safe to say the Baltimore Ravens are going to move on. I’m not a fan of Flacco at all and think he’s been on a sharp decline the past four to five seasons, but he’s won a Super Bowl and is an experienced veteran, however I think he’s going to cost a lot more than people think.
Josh McCown: If McCown does not retire at age 39, I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see the Jaguars give him a call if their plan is to go with a bridge veteran and a first round rookie quarterback. McCown has worked with DeFilippo both with the Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns. In fact, McCown was the quarterback DeFilippo wanted when he was the Browns coordinator. McCown would be cheap-ish, seems to know at this stage in his career he’s a bridge/backup/mentor type of quarterback and seems to have done a great job doing that with Sam Darnold up in New York. He’s the veteran I think people are overlooking.
Tyrod Taylor: Similar to McCown, I’d think Taylor knows at this point in his career he’s a bridge quarterback/high end back up. He seemed to have a great relationship with Baker Mayfield with the Browns, helping him out and showing good leadership despite knowing his job was limited.
Teddy Bridgewater: I’d be all for it and I’m listing him because a lot of people will suggest it, but I don’t think the Jaguars will consider him because there are a lot of teams around the league deathly afraid he’s a walking injury. I think that’s a bit unfair, but NFL teams think a lot of absurd things.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: Another popular name people look for who I think makes a ton of sense for the Jaguars as a bridge quarterback.