The Jaguars have applied the second-round tender to wide receiver Keelan Cole, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Cole was set for restricted free agency and the Jaguars hope that the tender level will ward off suitors.
In his three pro seasons with the Jaguars, Cole has hauled in 104 catches for 1,600 yards and seven touchdowns. Teams will have interest in him, of course, but they’ll also have to think long and hard about the total price tag. If a team signs Cole to an offer sheet and the Jaguars do not match it, they’ll have to cough up a second-round pick. Given the abundance of quality receivers in this year’s draft, it seems likely that those clubs would take a pass.
Cole signed with the Jags as an undrafted free agent back in 2017. He played his college ball at a tiny D2 school Kentucky Wesleyan, and has turned into a nice success story. He only made $645K last year as part of his rookie UDFA deal, so this will be a pretty nice pay-bump for him as the second-round tender is slated to clock in at a little over $3.1MM for 2020.
The tender is somewhat surprising considering Cole’s production has actually declined a bit each year. He had 748 yards as a rookie, 491 as a sophomore, and 361 this past year. His role did increase down the stretch this past season, but he still figures to be behind at least DJ Chark, Dede Westbrook, and Chris Conley on the depth chart next year.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.