We’re prime to enter the total deadzone of the NFL until the 2020 NFL Combine and the free agency period in about a month. While we pass the time, instead of talking about London until we’re brain dead, we will start going through the Jacksonville Jaguars roster position by position and looking at where we’re at, what we need and who could be cut for cap reasons/savings.
Let’s start off at the back end of the defense with the safety position.
Jarrod Wilson, 26 ($3.086M cap figure): Wilson stepped into the 2020 season as the starter, replacing Tashaun Gipson who had been the team’s free safety/center fielder for a few seasons. I would say Wilson played at an adequate level and the biggest complain I have consistently seen about him is that he didn’t seem to really do anything, which is a double-edged sword. While he didn’t make a bunch of splash plays, he didn’t allow many of them seemingly in the passing game, either.
Ronnie Harrison, 22 ($908K cap figure): Unlike Wilson, Harrison is a splash-type of player at the safety position and often effective closer to the line of scrimmage. Harrison made some splash plays, both good and bad, but once again ended up injured. If he can stay healthy, it’s possible he could be a big playmaker for the Jaguars defense in 2020.
Andrew Wingard, 23 ($586K cap figure): Wingard played all 16 games for the Jaguars as an undrafted rookie, primarily on special teams, but he did start a couple of games due to injuries. Wingard was “fine” as a depth player and I would imagine he will take over as a core special teamer with Davis set to be an unrestricted free agent.
Doug Middleton, 26 (ERFA): Middleton was picked up late in the season and signed to the team’s practice squad prior to being promoted to the active roster. Being an ERFA, it’s likely he makes it back to training camp with a chance to fight for a roster spot.
Josh Jones, 25 ($735K cap figure): The former Packers second round pick was claimed by the Jaguars late in the season on waivers and will likely vie for a backup safety spot/special teams role in 2020.
Cody Davis, 30 (UFA): Davis has been a long time core special teamer in the NFL, spending most of his time with the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams before being signed by the Jaguars in 2018 with an eye for shoring up their special teams issues. Davis played well in that role, but his league minimum veteran salary is likely going to be too much to bring back, especially with Wingard seemingly stepping into that role as a rookie.
Overall, I don’t think they Jaguars do much at the safety position other than potentially churn/add depth. The combination of Wilson and Harrison were just fine while they were together and explosive passing plays didn’t seem all that common after Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs. While you could upgrade Wilson, I don’t think it’s very high on the priority list for what needs to be done in 2020, especially if the Jaguars can shore up their run defense issues and keep teams more one-dimensional.