According to a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the Jaguars will not be picking up year two of tight end Tyler Eifert’s two-year contract, setting him up to start the new league year as an unrestricted free agent.
The #Jaguars are expected to decline the team option for TE Tyler Eifert’s contract, source said. He was to earn a little under $5M for 2021, but now he’ll be a free agent.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 22, 2021
The move will save the Jaguars nearly $5.25M in salary cap space as Eifert’s original deal was set for two years, $9.5M with a $2.25M signing bonus and $3.25M guaranteed. He was due $3.9M in base salary for the 2021 season. His contract for 2021 also included $1M in per-game roster bonuses and $250,000 in other bonuses.
The team will now have $1.125M in dead money left on the table. Eifert spent the past season with the Jaguars after spending the previous nine with the Cincinnati Bengals.
With the Jaguars, Eifert was the team’s leading tight end, however, contributed with just 35 receptions, 349 yards and two touchdowns in 15 games. He oftentimes switched with tight end James O’Shaughnessy for the starting role on game weeks.
Now, with Eifert out of the picture, the Jaguars will head into the offseason with just Tyler Davis, Ben Ellefson, O’Shaughnessy, Josh Oliver and Eric Saubert at the tight end position. Those players combined for a total of 32 receptions for 288 yards and zero touchdowns on the year. Oliver did not contribute last season, nursing a broken foot that kept him out of the season before it began.
Jacksonville will now enter the season with a new tight end coach in former Penn State tight ends coach Tyler Bowen, who will look to re-shape the way the team uses the tight end position, along with developing the players already on the roster.
With the 2021 NFL Draft upcoming, don’t be surprised to see Jacksonville address the position in the early portions of the event.