The second overall pick from the 2013 draft will not have his fifth-year option picked up for 2017, reports Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. According to O’Halloran, the Jaguars have decided to turn down Luke Joeckel‘s 2017 option.
[RELATED: Fifth-Year Option Decision Tracker]
Joeckel, the first pick made by the Jaguars after Dave Caldwell became the general manager and Gus Bradley became the head coach, hasn’t exactly been the most successful selection of their tenure in Jacksonville. Although he has started 35 games for the Jags since joining the team in 2013, including 30 over the last two years, Joeckel has been inconsistent and hasn’t lived up to his draft slot.
After spending the last two years as Jacksonville’s left tackle, Joeckel may be usurped by free agent signee Kelvin Beachum in 2016. The former Steeler is expected to take over as the Jags’ left tackle if he’s healthy. That could mean Joeckel ends up on the bench in a reserve role, or in a spot elsewhere on the line.
By turning down Joeckel’s $11.902MM option for 2017, the Jaguars perhaps preserve some trade value for the tackle as well. I don’t expect the team to find a taker for him, but if he has a solid camp and another club’s left tackle goes down with an injury, it’s in play. The 24-year-old is set to earn a guaranteed base salary of $3.296MM this season before becoming eligible for free agency in 2017.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.