The Jags, however, might be inclined to use Lewis as a trading chip for a tight end-needy team during the season, with the veteran set to carry a lower cap number, writes Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. Although precise terms of Lewis’ new 2015 figure are not yet available, he won’t carry the gaudy $8.2MM, which was the sixth-highest figure in the league, and another team wouldn’t be on the hook for any payments after 2015, reports O’Halloran.
Thomas’ $10.3MM remains the most a team will pay a tight end this season.
Jacksonville executed this strategy two years ago when it dealt left tackle Eugene Monroe to the Ravens for fourth- and fifth-round picks in last year’s draft. The Jags won’t be able to extract that kind of return for the descending Lewis, who will be 31 this year, but a late-round pick wouldn’t be out of the question once injuries are factored into the in-season equation.
Here is some additional news coming out of north Florida on Saturday night.
- Recently extended linebacker Paul Posluszny remains below his playing weight after recovering from offseason chest surgery, reports O’Halloran. Currently at 235 with hopes of returning to the 240-pound frame at which he normally plays, Posluszny weighed barely 220 pounds earlier this offseason thanks to the surgery-induced inactivity.
- Despite signing Sergio Brown last month, the Jaguars remain interested in bolstering their safety corps, writes Hays Carlyon of the Florida Times-Union. Brown’s made just 11 starts in five seasons and was the Jags’ fallback option after Devin McCourty opted to stay with the Patriots. With a weak safety class, Brown will probably have to be relied upon here, with holes at wideout, running back and defensive line outweighing the need on the back end, Carlyon notes. Byron Jones, Eric Rowe and P.J. Williams are three players Carlyon identified as those who could move from cornerback to safety, as McCourty did. “For me, it’s been going back a few years now, it’s been the hardest position for me to evaluate,” NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah told Carlyon. “You have to watch more tape on that position than any other because of the spread offense and the college game.”
- The Jags are expected to focus their wideout pursuit on a slot receiver first, reports O’Halloran. Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee vacillated between inside and outside work last season as rookies, while Ace Sanders played there exclusively, albeit in only 60 snaps. None received a positive grade, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required).
- Electing to exhaust their prospect tours in bulk, the Jags have already used 25 of their 30 allowed visits, according to O’Halloran. Ten prospects trekked to the Jaguars’ facilities on April 7 and April 8, respectively.