Jaguars Rumors

Draft Pick Signings: 5/24/18

Here are today’s second-tier draft signings:

  • The Buccaneers signed their second-round pick, cornerback Carlton Davis from Auburn. Davis was a three-year starter for the Tigers, earning a first-team All-SEC selection as a senior. An average athlete with good size, Davis will slide in behind Brent Grimes, Ryan Smith, and Vernon Hargreaves on the depth chart. The Bucs likely see Davis as the eventual successor to the now 34-year old Grimes.
  • Second-round linebacker Breeland Speaks signed his rookie deal with the Chiefs. Left without a first-round pick in the 2018 draft due to last year’s Patrick Mahomes trade, Speaks was the team’s first selection. Speaks played defensive tackle and defensive end in college, but the Chiefs plan to line him up at outside linebacker. Playing at Mississippi last year, Speaks generated seven sacks. He’ll initially be competing for playing time behind veterans Justin Houston and Dee Ford.
  • The Jaguars agreed to terms with third-round safety Ronnie Harrison on his rookie deal. Harrison was one of a slew of Alabama players selected in last year’s draft, and is looking to be the latest in a long line of Crimson Tide defenders to become stars in the NFL. Harrison was always a great player in college, but underwhelmed athletically with his testing at the combine. Harrison will play strong safety for the Jaguars, and is yet another piece added to their already dominant defense.

Jaguars Meet With RB Terrance West

Terrance West‘s free agent tour will continue in the AFC South. The former Ravens running back will meet with the Jaguars on Wednesday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). 

West met with the Colts on Tuesday and also sat down with the Eagles earlier this month. The running back is likely looking for a shot at playing time on a one-year deal, which would give him the opportunity to potentially do better in free agency next year.

West’s 2017 season was cut short due to a calf injury suffered in October. He didn’t do much in his 39 rushing attempts last year, but he did average a respectable 4.0 yards per carry as the Ravens’ leading ball carrier in 2016.

The Jaguars have Leonard Fournette as their primary running back with T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant in support, but things are fairly open after that. Three players who entered the league as UDFAs – Brandon Wilds, Tim Cook, and Lamar Atkins – are in the running for the final spots on the RB depth chart. West could help fortify that group with his powerful running style and pass-catching acumen.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/15/18

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns

  • Claimed: OL Anthony Fabiano (Colts), OL Avery Gennesy (Jaguars)
  • Waived: P Michael Carrizosa, OL Christian Schneider

Detroit Lions

Los Angeles Rams

  • Claimed: RB Larry Rose (Titans)

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

  • Signed: DL Blaine Woodson
  • Claimed: CB C.J. Goodwin (Giants)
  • Waived: WR DeAndre Carter

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/14/18

Today’s minor moves (so far):

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

  • Signed: DE Da’Sean Downey

Buffalo Bills

  • Signed: FB Zach Olstad
  • Waived/Injured: RB Aaron Green

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed: WR Bug Howard, C Kyle Friend, T/G Quinterrius Eatmon, DE Karter Schult
  • Waived/Injured: CB Zack Sanchez

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

  • Signed: WR Deontez Alexander, TE Marcus Lucas, CB Josh Okonye
  • Waived: WR Kyle Lewis
  • Waived/Injured: TE Brandon Barnes

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: QB Luis Perez 

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Signed: WR/KR Tim Wilson

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed: TE Clayton Wilson

Washington Redskins

Draft Pick Signings: 5/10/18

Here are the rest of Thursday’s draft pick accords:

  • The Buccaneers signed one of their three second-round picks in cornerback M.J. Stewart (No. 53 overall), Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. They also agreed to terms with their final three picks — Kansas State safety Jordan Whitehead (Round 4, pick 117), Penn wide receiver Justin Watson (Round 5, pick 144) and Wisconsin linebacker Jack Cichy (Round 6, pick 202).
  • Five-sixths of this Falcons draft class is now signed. Atlanta agreed to a deal with third-round defensive tackle Deadrin Senat (No. 90 overall out of South Florida). After already signing four other selections, only first-rounder Calvin Ridley remains unsigned.
  • The Steelers signed one of the safeties they drafted last month in agreeing to terms with Penn State product Marcus Allen (Round 5, pick 148). Pittsburgh also signed Alabama defensive tackle Joshua Frazier (Round 7, pick 246).
  • The Jaguars came to terms with four of their seven draftees — the final four Jacksonville selected in this year’s draft. N.C. State tackle Will Richardson (Round 4, pick 129), Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee (Round 6, pick 203), Wisconsin linebacker Leon Jacobs (Round 7, pick 230) and Mississippi State punter Logan Cooke (Round 7, pick 247) all signed their first Jags contracts Thursday. Cooke has a clear path toward the Jags’ punter job since the team released Brad Nortman two days after the draft.
  • Beginning their signings, the Titans agreed to deals with half of their four-man draft class. Tennessee signed Arizona cornerback Dane Cruikshank (Round 5, pick 152) and Washington State quarterback Luke Falk (Round 6, pick 199). The latter will attempt to develop behind Marcus Mariota and Blaine Gabbert.
  • Following suit in bringing aboard the back half of their draft, the Bills agreed to deals with four rookies. Jacksonville State safety Siran Neal, Virginia Tech guard Wyatt Teller (Round 5, pick 166), Clemson wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud (Round 6, pick 187) and North Carolina wideout Austin Proehl (Round 7, pick 255) signed their initial Buffalo deals.
  • Second-round Panthers pick Donte Jackson (No. 55 overall) signed his rookie contract. Indiana tight end Ian Thomas (Round 4, pick 101), Ole Miss defensive end Marquis Haynes (Round 4, pick 136), Maryland linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. (Round 5, pick 161) and Miami defensive tackle Kendrick Norton (Round 7, pick 242) followed suit.

Jaguars Audition LBs Keenan Robinson, Bruce Carter

The Jaguars worked out free agent linebackers Keenan Robinson and Bruce Carter on Wednesday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Robinson, 28, would fill a Jacksonville void at linebacker that was created when Paul Posluszny retired earlier this year. The Jaguars never added a potential replacement for Posluszny, meaning 2017 fifth-rounder Blair Brown is currently projected to start in base packages.

A 13-game starter in 2013, Robinson has seen his playing time reduced since that campaign, and a quad injury limited him to only six contests last season. But he’s an experienced veteran with special teams capabilities, and would allow the Jaguars to keep Brown in a limited role, or — at the very least — allow him to grow into a starter. Robinson also drew interest from the division-rival Titans in March before Tennessee signed fellow linebacker William Compton.

Carter, meanwhile, spent the past two seasons with the Jets, but rarely played on defense — in fact, he saw only 10 defensive snaps a year ago. As such, he’d likely be added as a depth option and special-teamer in Jacksonville. Carter appeared on 61.4% of of New York’s special teams snaps in 2017, so he’d add experience to a Jaguars unit that ranked just 24th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA last year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars Decline Dante Fowler’s Fifth-Year Option

The Jaguars elected not to exercise the fifth-year option on defensive end Dante Fowler, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. However, he adds that the Jags still believe he’s an ascending player and hope to sign him to a long-term deal. 

The decision on Fowler may have been one of the trickier calls in this year’s bunch of fifth-year options. Fowler, 24 in August, missed his entire rookie season but became a solid contributor for the team upon taking the field in 2016. Last year, he set new career highs with eight sacks and two forced fumbles.

Still, extending Fowler’s deal through 2019 would have cost the team an additional $14.2MM. The option is guaranteed for injury only, but that would have been a risky proposition in light of his 2015 ACL tear.

Fowler will return as the Jaguars’ first defensive end off of the bench behind starters Yannick Ngakoue and Calais Campbell. Campbell has three years to go on his four-year, $60MM deal with the Jaguars and the team will have to address Ngakoue’s contract after the 2019 season, so there’s definitely a limit on how much they can pay Fowler.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars Sign 13 UDFAs

The Jaguars have signed the following 13 undrafted free agents:

Meeks skipped his senior season at Stanford with the belief that he would be a Day 3 draft pick. That call never came, so he’ll have to scrap for his opportunity to make the Jaguars’ final cut. Lazard also seemed to have a decent chance at getting drafted after setting Iowa State records with 231 passes and 3,218 yards over the course of his collegiate career.

The Jaguars now have have one open spot on their 89-man roster after releasing wide receiver Jaelen Strong and punter Brad Nortman.

Jaguars Release WR Jaelen Strong

The Jaguars have released wide receiver Jaelen Strong. It’s an unfortunate development for the 24-year-old as he recovers from a torn ACL. 

[RELATED: Jaguars Sign 13 UDFAs]

Strong spent his first two seasons in the NFL with the Texans, who selected him in the third round of the 2015 draft. He was cut by Houston in September and landed with the Jaguars as a depth signing. He was activated for the first time in December in the wake of injuries to starters Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns and responded by catching a touchdown pass in the first half. Unfortunately, he went down with a season-ending ACL tear in his left knee in the game.

Strong is still rehabbing from surgery, but he figures to be a popular target for teams once he’s able to get back on the practice field.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars Release P Brad Nortman

The Jaguars announced that they have released punter Brad Nortman. The move indicates that the Jaguars expect seventh-round pick Logan Cooke to handle punting duties in 2018. 

Nortman, 29 in September, spent the first four years of his career with the Panthers before signing a free agent deal with the Jaguars in 2016. His contract was set to run through 2019, but Jacksonville has opted to bail in order to save $2.1MM+ in cap room. However, they will be left on the hook for $250K in dead money.

Nortman averaged 45.3 yards per kick for the Jaguars over the last two years, though his average dropped slightly in 2017. Overall, the move appears to be less about Nortman’s ability and more about saving money as the Jags believe they have found a comparable talent at a cheaper rate in Cooke.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.