The 2019 NFL offseason is upon us and the Jacksonville Jaguars will have several tough decisions to make on both sides of the ball — and, in my opinion, one very easy one.
How long do the Jaguars have to make decisions on Calais Campbell? What about Marcell Dareus? How much is Blake Bortles owed and when can the team just cut and run onto their next quarterback? When does free agency really start?
With the help of Joel Corry over at CBS Sports, we break down all the dates for you.
- This is the last day the Philadelphia Eagles have to pick up an option on quarterback Nick Foles’ contract through 2021. But Foles is reportedly going to “buyout” his own contract, in essence paying $2 million to become a free agent. Why is this important? Because Foles has been linked to the Jaguars ad naseum and this would allow a smoother path to that happening. However, I think the Jaguars want to go after their guy in the NFL Draft and I think that guy is Dwayne Haskins.
- If/when the Eagles pick up the option (as they are likely to do) this is the last day for Foles to void his remaining contract by paying $2 million to the team. At this point the Eagles could put the franchise tag on Foles but... that would be wild.
- A two-week period starts where teams can put the franchise tag on players. I doubt the Jaguars do this as they have no impending free agents on offense or defense that are good enough to even consider it.
- This is the deadline for the Jaguars to exercise an option in defensive lineman Calais Campbell’s contract. A $3 million payment is required to pick up Campbell’s 2019 and 2020 contract years, with $12 million and $15 million base salaries. Campbell has said he’s coming back in 2019 and that he’s open to a contract restructure so I doubt this gets dragged out.
- This is also the deadline for the Jaguars to pick up the option on tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins’ 2019 contract year for $4.75 million. I highly doubt the Jaguars make the $500,000 payment necessary to keep him.
February 26-March 4
- The NFL Scouting Combine takes place in Indianapolis. This is the real free agency period as this is the first time all offseason where agents, players, and teams are all under one roof.
- Tampering, tampering, and more tampering! The recently instituted “tampering period” goes into effect on March 11 at 4:00pm EST and will continue until March 13 at 3:59pm.
- The 2019 league year begins at 4:00pm EST and teams can now trade, sign unrestricted free agents. Because of the newly installed “tampering period” you’ll see a lot of the big name free agents signed shortly after the new league year begins as well as some big trades like we did last year.
- Marcell Dareus’ $2 million roster bonus is due and I don’t think the Jaguars will have any problems paying it.
- As disgusting as it sounds, Eli Manning has been linked to the Jaguars as well and this is the deadline for the New York Giants to pay Eli Manning a $5 million roster bonus. If they don’t pay him and instead cut or trade him, the Giants would save $17 million of cap space.
- Here’s the big one — but it’s an easy decision, in my opinion. Blake Bortles is due a $1 million roster bonus on this day. The Jaguars are expected to release Bortles despite $6.5 million of his $14 million 2019 base salary already being fully guaranteed and the fact that the team will have a $16.5 million cap charge from releasing Bortles unless a post-June designation is used. In short, the Jaguars will have a very large band-aid to rip off by cutting Bortles next month, but after 2019 the pain goes away.