The Jaguars making the playoffs will slightly alter their trade for Marcell Dareus. The Bills received a conditional 2018 sixth-round pick for Dareus in the parties’ October trade, but now that the Jags ventured to the postseason, that pick will become a fifth-rounder, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
Blake Bortles failed to clear 100 yards passing in an interesting wild-card win, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears (video link) the Jags are not opposed to retaining their 2014 first-rounder on the $19MM fifth-year option salary. Bortles has been wildly inconsistent this season, and Sunday’s 87-yard showing marked a season-low. Although, his 88 rushing yards were vital in the 10-3 victory. Doug Marrone also said he’s concerned about his offense heading into the team’s divisional-round game in Pittsburgh. While it should be expected the Jags will explore an upgrade prior to making a final call on Bortles, it might not be a certainty the franchise moves on from him.
While Tyrod Taylor did not fare well against the vaunted Jags pass defense, the Bills are not against bringing him back. Rapoport reports the Bills are not expected to cut Taylor this offseason. Instead, they would rather give him a chance to compete to be the starter for a fourth season or trade him to another team in need of a quarterback. Taylor is due a $6MM roster bonus if he’s on the Bills come Day 3 of the 2018 league year and stands to earn $10MM in base salary. On a trade market that could include Eli Manning and Alex Smith, Taylor would be an interesting name — if not a consolation prize for a team that cannot land its desired upgrade. The Bills brought Taylor back in March when many expected him to be jettisoned, and Nathan Peterman does not look to be close to ready for a competition with the incumbent.
The Jaguars have been mentioned as a quality destination for one of the higher-end quarterbacks expected to be available in free agency or via trade during what should be an intriguing offseason for teams in search of passers. But they might not be done with their current quarterback just yet.
Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee did not practice on Wednesday and may not practice this week. However, the belief is that he will be able to take the field against the Bills this weekend, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Lee had the most receptions of any Jags receiver this year (56) and finished second in receiving yards (702). If Lee cannot go, Jacksonville will have to lean a bit more heavily on Allen Hurns, Dede Westbrook, and Keelan Cole.
December 25th, 2017 at 2:16pm CST by Greg Goldstein
An encouraging comeback game turns out to be the final one of the 2017 season for wide receiver Jaelen Strong. After catching his first touchdown pass of the season against the 49ers, the 23-year-old wideout revealed on his own personal Instagram that he has torn his ACL, effectively ending his third professional season.
“I was cut in September by the Texans. Jags claimed me a day after. 14 weeks later I am finally active. My first reception goes for a TD. IM SO EXCITED to finally be out here w GANG grinding w my dogs and then I tear my ACL. I walked off on my own power cause i immediately thought of who was watching me, our youth! Let this be a testimony for you. No matter what knocks you down you gotta pull ya self back up and what better way to show you then this… can’t wait to watch my dogs in the OFFS! Love everybody who been in my corner.”
Strong had spent his first two seasons in the NFL with the Texans, who had selected him in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Strong was cut by Houston in September, but was signed by the Jaguars after the team needed wide receiver depth. Strong was activated for the first time this season as Jacksonville dealt with injuries to starters Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns.
Strong responded by catching three balls and a game tying touchdown at the end of the first half. It’s a cruel turn of events for what was looking to be a nice turn around story. Now the Jaguars will have to hope for the likes of Lee and Hurns to return for the postseason. Rookies Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook and Jaydon Mickens have stepped up admirably for quarterback Blake Bortles over the past few weeks, but Jacksonville would certainly like their more veteran playmakers to get back in the lineup with the playoffs just two weeks away.
December 25th, 2017 at 12:20pm CST by Greg Goldstein
The Jaguars suffered a surprising defeat at the hands of the 49ers on Sunday, but it looks like the AFC South champs avoided what would be a critical blow to their offensive line. Rookie offensive tackle Cam Robinson was forced to leave the game with an abdominal injury, but it will likely not keep him out for the team’s first postseason appearance in ten years, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
Rapoport further describes the injury as more of a “nuisance”, so it is something the young offensive lineman can play through in January. Jacksonville will be locked into the three seed in the AFC should the Steelers win one of their final two games. If Pittsburgh were to win today vs. Houston, the Jags could rest Robinson to make sure that he is as healthy as possible heading into the Wild Card round.
Robinson, 22, has not been graded kindly by the likes of Pro Football Focus, as he ranks as the 79th best tackle in football, according to the website. Although, Robinson has only given up two sacks on the season as the blindside protector of quarterback Blake Bortles.
The Jaguars invested highly in the former Alabama lineman when they selected him in the second round of last year’s draft. The team has veteran Josh Wells available as the immediate backup should Robinson miss time. He would join what’s been a productive offensive that includes Patrick Omameh, Brandon Linder, A.J. Cann and Jermey Parnell.
Jaelen Strongis back. The Jaguars have promoted the wideout to the active roster, reports John Oehser of Jaguars.com (via Twitter). To make room on the roster, the team has waived/injured receiver Larry Pinkard.
Strong has bounced around a bit in 2017, spending time with both the Jaguars and Texans. The former third-round pick started the season in Houston, but he was released by the team after serving a one-game suspension. He later caught on with Jacksonville, but he was released by the team without having played a game. He subsequently signed with the team’s practice squad.
The 23-year-old has only appeared in a single game this season without compiling a catch. During his first two years in the league, Strong hauled in 28 catches for 292 yards and three touchdowns in 18 games (three starts). He’ll presumably slide behind Keelan ColeandJaydon Mickens at the bottom of the receiver depth chart.
Pinkard had been recovering from a concussion in recent weeks. The former undrafted free agent out of Old Dominion was promoted to the Jagaurs active roster in mid-November. He ultimately played in four games, compiling a single five-yard catch.