1:48pm: The Jaguars have officially released Blackmon, the team announced this afternoon in a press release.
8:11am: Although the move isn’t yet official, the Jaguars will be cutting veteran defensive back Will Blackmon from their roster, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports (via Twitter). Garafolo notes that Jacksonville intends to go younger in the secondary, adding that the 30-year-old Blackmon shouldn’t have trouble finding work elsewhere.
Blackmon, who has spent the last two seasons with the Jaguars, has been one of the top three cornerbacks for the team during his time in Jacksonville, starting 12 of 23 games. His 2014 campaign was cut short by a broken finger, which landed him on the injured reserve list with about two months left in the season.
While the Jags are moving in a younger direction at cornerback, led by 2013 draftees Dwayne Gratz and Demetrius McCray, the team’s willingness to cut Blackmon may suggest that they’re close to reaching a deal to retain Alan Ball as the club’s token veteran corner, tweets Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. Like Blackmon, Ball finished the 2014 season on injured reserve — if he’s not re-signed, he’ll hit the open market next month.
Blackmon’s cap hit for 2015 had been just $945K, and releasing him will leave $25K in dead money on the Jags’ cap. While Jacksonville clears $920K from its books with the move, the actual amount of cap room created will be less than that, since Blackmon will be replaced in the team’s top 51 salaries by a minimum-salary player. Of course, armed with over $60MM in projected cap space, that’s not a big concern for the Jags.