The Jaguars have agreed to terms with cornerback D.J. Hayden, according to Adam Caplan of SiriusXM (Twitter link). He’ll collect a three-year, $19MM deal which contains $9.5MM in guarantees and can max out at $21MM.
Jacksonville has invested heavily in its secondary over the past few years, and has added corners Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye through the draft and free agency, respectively. However, the Jaguars aren’t able to keep everyone in their defensive backfield, and Tuesday they lost slot cornerback Aaron Colvin to the division-rival Texans.
Colvin received $34MM over four years from Houston, so the Jaguars are saving quite a bit of cash and cap space by replacing him with Hayden. However, Jacksonville is also looking at a significant in talent, at least based on prior results. Although he’s a former No. 12 overall pick, Hayden has never lived up to the draft billing, and 2017 was no exception.
Hayden ranked as a the No. 96 cornerback among 121 qualifiers a season ago, per Pro Football Focus. Colvin, meanwhile, finished 47th in the same grades, so Jacksonville should expect a downgrade in its slot performance. Hayden will be flanked by All-Pro caliber outside corners in Ramsey and Bouye, so it’s possible he’ll show improvement, but he’ll need to exceed expectations to do so.
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