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Jaguars 2019 roster outlook: Linebacker

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Next up, we will look at the linebacker group.

Players under contract in 2019:

Telvin Smith: Smith had a down season in 2019, regardless of what his numbers say. He whiffed on a lot of big tackles and was often picked on in coverage by other teams. I don’t know if he just had a slump or if teams finally figured out how the get him out of position and pick on him, but it was a big issue on defense.

Myles Jack: I thought Jack had a solid 2019 season finally moving to the middle linebacker role full time. He didn’t have as many flash plays as he did playing on the outside, but I expect him to play well going forward.

Leon Jacobs: Jacobs did a solid job stepping in at the SAM backer spot as a rookie, but as expected it was a role without a lot of defensive snaps.

Donald Payne: Payne missed about half the season with injuries, but he’s been a solid special teams player and has filled in when needed. I expect him back.

Nick Deluca: Deluca was a mid-season add after all the injuries and stepped in right away on special teams. Deluca also flashed a bit playing some SAM linebacker after the Jacobs injury and I expect him back in 2019.

Blair Brown: Brown had a 2018 season that went unnoticed. He played mostly special teams and it seems like he’s going to be on the bubble head into 2019.

Christian Kuntz: Kuntz was a late addition. Will likely compete in training camp.

Lerentee McCray: McCray started the season hot while Dante Fowler Jr. was suspended, but an injury seemed to derail everything until late in the year.

Potential cap cuts/trades:

Lerentee McCray: I don’t think he will get released, but if the Jaguars move on from one of their top special teams players it will be a $2.87 million savings on the cap.

Telvin Smith: I don’t think the Jaguars will straight up cut Telvin Smith, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he ended up traded in the offseason. He got paid and has not lived up to that deal. Not only that, but he’s a weakside backer only. That also limits his trade value somewhat for his price, but if the team did move on it would be $8 million in dead money and a cap savings of about $4.5 million.

Potential free agent options:

C.J. Mosley: If the Jaguars did decide to move on from Smith, I’d target Mosley in free agency to fill the MLB role and kick Jack to his natural position at WLB.

Stephone Anthony: I’d expect the Jaguars to add LB depth, especially at ILB and Anthony is someone who fits that bill.

Denzel Perryman: Coming off a knee injury, Perryman has ended two of the last three seasons on IR. However, when he has been on the field he has been very good and coming off an ACL tear, it’s possible if he doesn’t stick with the Chargers you could have him for relatively cheap.

Hayes Pullard: I was surprised when the Jaguars let him go initially, but he is depth across the linebacker corps, has played well when asked, is good on special teams and knows the system.