Jawaan Taylor is a Kansas City Chief.
Jacksonville’s former 35th overall pick signed a four-year, $80 million contract with the reigning Super Bowl champions on the first day of free agency’s tampering period.
Two months ago, the Chiefs knocked out the Jaguars in the divisional round on its way to its second championship in four years. Now, Taylor has one of the most important jobs in the league: protecting Patrick Mahomes’ blindside.
Former Jaguars’ OT Jawaan Taylor reached agreement on a four-year, $80 million deal, including $60M gtd, with the KC Chiefs, per sources. Deal negotiated and confirmed by Drew Rosenhaus and Robert Bailey. pic.twitter.com/jm0XYJUtTy— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2023
James Palmer of NFL Network reported that Taylor is expected to play left tackle for Kansas City; the 26-year-old hasn’t played that position since 2017, when he was a sophomore on the Florida Gators. Taylor played 68 games (including playoffs) for Jacksonville over four seasons, all at right tackle.
With that said, his transition to the opposite side of the formation will be helped by the presence of top-tier coaches (Andy Reid, Andy Heck) and players (Mahomes, Joe Thuney).
From Brandon Thorn of Trench Warfare:
Taylor is coming off of the best year of his career in Jacksonville after a fresh start under line coach Phil Rauscher. Taylor has always been durable (66 career starters with zero missed games) but finally shored up some technique issues in pass-protection to put him firmly in the middle-of-the-pack range of starters at right tackle. At just 25-years old with ideal size (6’5” 315 lbs. with 35+ inch arms) and good play strength, there is a reasonable case to be made that his best football is still ahead of him.
An astounding $60 million of Taylor’s new contract is guaranteed, which ranks second among all left tackles not named Ronnie Staley. His $20 million annual salary ranks fourth behind only Trent Williams, David Bakhtiari, and Laremy Tunsil.
In short, Taylor got a bag. While it’s tough to see homegrown talent leave, the Jaguars made its bed a long time ago by committing significant resources to Walker Little and Cam Robinson, who are under contract in Jacksonville through 2024. The team currently has just under $7 million in cap space without accounting for the rookie class -- so once the Jaguars placed the franchise tag on tight end Evan Engram, retaining Taylor in this market was never likely.