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Jaguars to decline Marcell Dareus final-year option

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An expected event, the Jaguars made a move for cap-space today by voiding Dareus’ final season.

New Orleans Saints v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images

Unsurprisingly, the Jaguars will not be picking up defensive tackle Marcell Dareus’ final-year option, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. This means, the Jaguars will save $20M against their 2020 salary cap, according to OverTheCap.com.

The Jaguars had until February 25th, 22 days prior to the official start of the 2020 league year on March 18th to activate the veteran’s option which would have guaranteed his roster spot in 2020 and a $10M bonus due on March 10th.

Dareus was originally traded to the Jaguars midway through the 2017 season for a fifth-round selection from the Buffalo Bills. With Dareus on the team, the Jaguars’ run-defense improved immensely, going from one of the worst team’s in the NFL in run defense, to one of the best. The addition of Dareus was questioned at the time, however it quickly became obvious just how much the former first round selection improved the football team.

Last season, however, Dareus could not stay healthy, missing 10 of the team’s 16 regular season games finding himself on the team’s reserve/injured list following their week seven victory against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Jaguars had no other choice but to move on from the veteran defensive lineman at his current salary, however there remains a possibility of him returning to the football team under a re-worked contract.

Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell confirmed today that the team will not be exercising their team-option on defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.

“We’re not gonna pick up his option, no,” Caldwell told members of the media at the NFL Combine on Tuesday. ”To be honest when we did the deal last year, we knew he’d have to have a well above — we knew it’d be a long shot. And It was really just to prorate some of the signing bonus that we did last year for him.”

Caldwell however did indicate that the team is open to bringing back the veteran defensive tackle.