Jacksonville Jaguars Rumors & News

Tom Coughlin: Jaguars "To Be Very Competitive" In Free Agency

Jaguars vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin said Friday he “doesn’t see any reason” why the team’s trades with the Dolphins involving tight end Julius Thomas and left tackle Branden Albert would fall through before they become official March 9. That indicates Albert has passed a physical with the Jags, notes Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (Thomas has also passed his with Miami). As for free agency, with upward of $70MM in cap space, Coughlin expects the Jaguars “to be very competitive” in bidding for outside help.

Details On Arrelious Benn's Contract

  • Arrelious Benn‘s new contract with the Jaguars is a two-year, $1.765MM deal that contains $100K guaranteed, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. Although he didn’t contribute much to the Jacksonville offense (just five receptions for 116 yards), Benn was a regular on special teams duty, as he saw action on 63% of the Jaguars’ ST plays.

Julius Thomas Passes Dolphins Physical

All deals are contingent on players passing a physical exam, but it is often just a formality. In the case of tight end Julius Thomas, who has missed eleven games in the past two years, the physical was nothing to be scoffed at. On Tuesday, Thomas was given a clean bill of health by doctors, paving the way for a deal to be finalized between the Jaguars and Dolphins on the first day of the league year, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes. 

Teams cannot officially make trades until March 9, but everything is now in place for the swap to go through. The intra-state deal will send the tight end to Miami in exchange for a 2017 seventh-round pick. Then, in a separate deal, left tackle Branden Albert will go to Jacksonville in exchange for a 2018 seventh-round pick. Initially, it looked like the veterans would be exchanged within the same trade. Effectively, of course, they are being traded for one another.

Thomas has a history with Dolphins head coach Adam Gase and he is expected to pick up the offense rather quickly. If he can stay healthy, he could prove to be a serious weapon for Miami. Between 2013 and 2014, Thomas tallied 108 catches and 24 touchdowns under Gase’s guidance. Meanwhile, the Jaguars have secured their replacement for left tackle Kelvin Beachum, though Albert comes with plenty of question marks himself.

Photo courtesy of Pro Football Rumors on Instagram.

Jaguars Re-Sign Tyler Shatley

  • The Jaguars announced that they’ve re-signed offensive lineman Tyler Shatley, who was scheduled to become a restricted free agent this spring. It’s a one-year deal with a club option in 2018, tweets Ryan O”Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. Shatley, 25, started four games for Jacksonville last season, playing on roughly a quarter of the club’s offensive snaps. During his three-year run, Shatley — a Clemson alum — has appeared in 28 total contest. Shatley becomes the second RFA offensive lineman the Jaguars have re-signed this month, joining Josh Wells.

Latest On Jonathan Cyprien

  • Pending free agent safety Jonathan Cyprien admitted he’s “kind of excited, kind of nervous” about reaching the open market, adding that he hopes to remain with the Jaguars in 2017, per SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). Cyprien, a 2013 second-round pick, has started 60 games during his Jacksonville career, and last year graded as the league’s No. 7 safety, according to Pro Football Focus. As of December, the Jags appeared likely to let Cyprien hit free agency, and for what it’s worth, PFF’s Sam Monson today identified Cyprien as a player likely to get overpaid next month.

Dolphins To Acquire Julius Thomas

The Dolphins have agreed to acquire tight end Julius Thomas from the Jaguars, reports Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. The Fins will send a 2017 seventh-round pick to Jacksonville for Thomas, who is traveling to Miami tomorrow for a visit and physical, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links). The trade won’t become official until 4 p.m. ET on March 9, the start of the 2017 league year.

It’s no surprise that Thomas will head to Miami, which worked hard to acquire him in recent days, but the club took an unusual route to land the 28-year-old. It looked as though the Dolphins and Jaguars were set to swap left tackle Branden Albert and Thomas over the weekend, but that fell through early Monday. Jacksonville later agreed to acquire Albert in a separate deal, which the teams haven’t yet finalized.

Thomas had drawn trade interest from other teams, but the ex-Denver star will now reunite with Dolphins head coach and former Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase. Thomas is eager to reunite with Gase, per Salguero, which is hardly a shock. From 2013-14, Gase was at the helm of a Denver attack that prominently featured Thomas, who posted the best seasons of his career during that stretch. Thomas combined for 108 catches and 24 touchdowns under Gase, and he parlayed that success into a mega-deal with the Jaguars in 2015.

Thomas didn’t live up to his five-year, $46MM contract in Jacksonville, where he missed 11 of 32 regular-season games and saw his yards per catch drop from nearly 12.0 in Denver to under 10.0. He was fairly productive otherwise, though, as he caught 76 passes and nine scores in his 21 appearances as a Jag.

As was the case in Denver and Jacksonville, Thomas will serve as Miami’s top tight end. The club seems likely to lose its No. 1 option from last season, soon-to-be free agent Dion Sims, which made finding a replacement a high priority. Thomas is under contract through 2019, but he has agreed to restructured his deal, a league source told Salguero. The Dolphins are “significantly” cutting down his remaining cap hits, which previously ranged from $8.3MM to $10.3MM. Thomas will have a chance to earn back the money he’s losing through incentives.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins, Jags Agree To Swap Branden Albert, Draft Pick

The possibility of the Dolphins acquiring Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas for left tackle Branden Albert is now off the table, reports Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. However, the Dolphins have agreed to send Albert to the Jags in a separate deal, per Salugero, which will net Miami a 2018 seventh-round pick, tweets Albert Breer of The MMQB.com.Branden Albert (vertical)

In order for the trade to become official, the Jaguars will need Albert to agree to report, according to Salguero. Before that happens, the Jags and Albert’s representation will continue discussing his contract status. Albert himself will have dinner tonight with Jacksonville’s front office, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), who adds the two sides will discuss his deal on Tuesday if all goes well.

The two sides have been in talks regarding Albert’s deal the past “several days,” writes Salguero, who adds that Jacksonville seems prepared to take on the rest of his pact and possibly even extend it. The 32-year-old Albert is currently signed through 2018 and set to count upward of $10MM against the salary cap in both seasons. By moving on from Albert, the Dolphins would free up $7.2MM in spending room.

As for Thomas, he could still end up with the Dolphins, tweets Rapoport, but their efforts to acquire him have hit a snag over his contract. Thomas reportedly would have had to take a pay cut had the Jaguars sent him to the Dolphins for Albert. The 28-year-old is signed through 2019 and comes with pricey base salaries ($7MM, $8.5MM and $9MM) and cap hits ($8.3MM, $9.8MM, $10.3MM). Nearly half of his salary for 2017 ($3MM) has already become guaranteed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Julius Thomas Drawing Trade Interest

Even though they’re unlikely to acquire Julius Thomas for left tackle Branden Albert, the Dolphins are interested in trading for the Jaguars tight end. But Miami’s going to face competition if it attempts to land Thomas in a separate deal, as Mike Kaye of WTLV reports that multiple teams are eyeing a possible trade for the 28-year-old.

Julius Thomas (Vertical)

Aside from the Dolphins, it’s unclear which clubs are targeting Thomas, but the Broncos, Cardinals, Packers, Giants and Jets are among the teams that either got little production from tight ends in 2016 or could lose their No. 1 option to free agency. Thomas has already played in Denver, where he put up back-to-back 12-touchdown seasons from 2013-14. He parlayed that two-year stretch into a $46MM contract with Jacksonville in 2015, but the deal hasn’t gone according to plan for the franchise.

Thomas has missed 11 of 32 games as a Jaguar and averaged under 10.0 yards per catch with them. On the other hand, he has combined for respectable reception and touchdown totals since leaving Denver, having amassed 76 grabs and nine scores.

Any team that acquires the 6-foot-4, 251-pound Thomas would take on a sizable financial commitment, though a contract restructuring would be a possibility. For now, Thomas is due base salaries between $7MM and $9MM over the final three years of his deal, which also carries cap hits ranging from $8.3MM to $10.3MM through 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars To Release Jared Odrick

The Jaguars are releasing defensive end Jared Odrick, his agency, DEC Management, announced (Twitter link). The move will save the team Odrick’s entire cap number – $8.5MM – for 2017.

jared Odrick

Having to cut ties with Odrick at this point clearly wasn’t what the Jaguars had in mind when they inked the ex-Dolphin to a five-year, $42.5MM contract in 2015. But he’s now coming off a season in which he missed 10 games because of injuries. Odrick had been an eminently durable defender from 2011-15, when he didn’t miss a single game, and he led the Jags in sacks (5.5) in his first year with the club.

Odrick, who has amassed 63 starts, 23 sacks and five forced fumbles since entering the NFL in 2010, will now head back to the open market. The Jags, meanwhile, will add a sizable amount to their already lofty cap space total.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.