Dawuane Smoot

Checking In On Edge Rusher Market

The late-spring signing period that transpires every year — due to the compensatory formula deadline passing — has produced a number of deals. Rock Ya-Sin, Foster Moreau, Randall Cobb, Donovan Smith and a few quarterbacks (John Wolford, Trevor Siemian, Brandon Allen) agreed to terms over the past week and change.

This year’s deadline, however, has not led to a thaw in the edge defender market, which is free agency’s deepest at this point. A number of accomplished veterans — some still in or close to their prime — remain unsigned. Teams often use OTAs, minicamp and training camp to determine where roster flaws are, leading to summer veteran additions. As of last week, no such moves affect teams’ 2024 compensatory picks. Some clubs will also pick up some cap space after June 1, when they will see the money saved from previous cut designations emerge.

A few longtime starters figure to receive another chance before teams configure their final depth charts. Ahead of OTAs, here are the top options available:

Frank Clark. Age in Week 1: 30

The Chiefs cut Clark in March, separating from their most prominent edge player of the Patrick Mahomes era. While Clark did not live up to the five-year, $104MM pact he signed upon being acquired from the Seahawks in 2019 and ultimately took a pay cut to return in 2022, he did continue producing in the playoffs. Clark’s 2.5 sacks during this past postseason give him 13.5 for his career. In the official sack era (1982-present), that total ranks third. Of course, the ex-Seattle second-rounder was arrested twice in 2021 and never eclipsed eight sacks during a Chiefs regular season. He remains a starter-caliber player.

Jadeveon Clowney. Age in Week 1: 30

Perennially unable to secure a long-term deal, the former No. 1 overall pick will likely end his NFL career without landing one. Injury trouble has plagued Clowney, who missed eight games during his two-year Browns tenure. Since the Texans traded Clowney to the Seahawks in August 2019, he has taken his time before reaching a free agency accord. Clowney signed with the Titans in September 2020, inked his first Browns deal in April 2021 and re-signed in May of last year. Clashes with Cleveland’s coaching staff will lead him elsewhere. Clowney only totaled two sacks and 12 QB pressures last season, though he collected nine sacks opposite Myles Garrett in 2021.

Leonard Floyd. Age in Week 1: 31

With the Rams moving on from their four-year, $64MM agreement in March, two teams have now cut Floyd in his career. The Bears picked up his fifth-year option but, back when teams were allowed to do this, ditched it free of charge a year later back in 2020. Floyd has both displayed durability and production since that Chicago separation, showing a new gear in Los Angeles. Teaming with Aaron Donald and Von Miller certainly boosted Floyd’s chances of drawing a favorable matchup, but he kept going after Donald’s shutdown last season. Four of Floyd’s 9.5 sacks came during the six games Donald missed. Floyd’s 31 QB pressures ranked 17th last season.

Markus Golden. Age in Week 1: 32

Coming off the worst season in this contingent, Golden is two years removed from an 11-sack campaign. The former second-round pick agreed to a one-year extension that covered the 2023 season, but the Cardinals’ new regime ditched that contract in March. Golden has three double-digit sack seasons on his resume, though they have come in nonconsecutive years. An early-career ACL tear threw the Mizzou alum off track, but Golden has missed just one game over the past four seasons.

Yannick Ngakoue. Age in Week 1: 28

The second-ranked edge defender in PFR’s free agent rankings back in March (behind only Marcus Davenport), Ngakoue has consistently produced sack numbers while generating a reputation as a hired gun and run-game liability. He did not come close to reaching the May compensatory deadline in the past, however, being franchise-tagged in 2020 and signed to a two-year, $26MM Raiders deal in March 2021. The Colts took on that contract last year, via a straight-up trade for Ya-Sin, and Ngakoue reeled off a 9.5-sack season. The former Jaguars third-round pick is the only player to post at least eight sacks in each of the past seven seasons.

Dawuane Smoot. Age in Week 1: 28

One of the bright spots of the Jaguars’ Urban Meyer year, Smoot finished the 2021 season with 30 pressures. The former third-round pick accumulated 22.5 sacks from 2019-22, finishing that stretch on a two-year deal worth $10MM. He likely would have a third contract in place — either from the Jaguars or another team earlier in free agency — had a December ACL tear not occurred. The Jags did not re-sign Arden Key or use a first- or second-day pick on an edge rusher. While that potentially keeps the door open to Smoot returning when cleared (or on the homestretch toward clearance), he remains an intriguing complementary option for teams.

Kyle Van Noy. Age in Week 1: 32

Although Van Noy has operated as a hybrid of sorts, his sack consistency qualifies him for such a list. Van Noy’s one-year Chargers deal ended up requiring considerable edge work, with Joey Bosa lost for much of the season. As he had done for years in New England, Van Noy made an impact in a pass-rushing capacity. He finished with five sacks, marking the fifth time in the past six seasons he has reached that number. Van Noy’s age and versatility make him one of the better options left. After signing with the Chargers in May of last year, Van Noy expressed interest in staying on another accord.

Mid-30s wing

Carlos Dunlap. Age in Week 1: 34

The Chiefs waited until July to add Dunlap last year, bringing in the longtime Bengals sack artist — on a one-year, $3MM pact — to replace Melvin Ingram as a Clark complement. Kansas City has since added younger UFA Charles Omenihu and used first-round picks on edges (George Karlaftis, Felix Anudike-Uzomah) in each of the past two years. The Bengals’ all-time sack leader, Dunlap finished with four last season after amassing 8.5 with the Seahawks in 2021. The Chiefs used the 13-year veteran on 39 defensive plays in Super Bowl LVII.

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Jaguars Fear Achilles Tear For DL Dawuane Smoot

SATURDAY, 11:30am: Smoot has confirmed that he suffered a torn Achilles and is out for the season, per ESPN’s Michael DiRocco on Twitter.

“I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to finish the season on the field alongside my brothers as we fight for a postseason berth,” Smoot wrote on Instagram, “but I’m proud of the work we have done as a team to put ourselves in a position to play meaningful football at this point in the season. I plan to be there for my teammates and support them as we works towards finishing strong.”

FRIDAY, 10:30am: A Jaguars defensive line regular for the past six seasons, Dawuane Smoot may not have the chance to finish out what has become an intriguing year for the team.

The Jags fear the rotational pass rusher suffered a torn Achilles during their win over the Jets on Thursday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). Smoot, 27, is months away from free agency.

The longest-tenured member of Jacksonville’s defense, Smoot has been with the team since being a 2017 third-round pick. With most of his contributions coming for struggling squads, the Illinois product has been one of the more under-the-radar D-line producers in recent years. This is the fourth consecutive season in which Smoot has totaled at least five sacks. He is sitting on five after 15 games; it does not appear that number will balloon further.

Breaking into the NFL as a reserve on the team’s “Sacksonville” defense that nearly keyed a Super Bowl berth in 2017, Smoot has mostly been a rotational defender. Despite playing for three defensive coordinators over the past three years, results have emerged. The 6-foot-3 edge defender has 22.5 sacks over the past four seasons. He totaled 33 quarterback hits from 2020-21. For a Jags team that has emerged as the favorite to win the AFC South, Smoot’s production is right in stride with recent years. He has 12 QB hits this season, including two in the team’s overtime win over the Cowboys.

Smoot signed a two-year, $10MM contract to stay with the Jags during Urban Meyer‘s brief run. This injury stands to affect his 2023 market, unfortunately. The Jags still have a fairly deep edge corps featuring Josh Allen, Travon Walker, Arden Key and K’Lavon Chaisson, but Pro Football Focus rates Smoot just outside the top 40 at the position. That grade places him just behind Allen and Key.

Thursday looks to mark the second straight game in which Jacksonville has lost a key lineman. The team is likely down left tackle Cam Robinson for the rest of the season.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/1/22

Here are the New Year’s Day activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: G Oli Udoh

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: CB Bryce Hall

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Jaguars Re-Sign Dawuane Smoot

The Jaguars will re-sign defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. It’ll be a two-year deal worth $10MM, including $5.25MM guaranteed (per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter).

The Jaguars inked Roy Robertson-Harris earlier in the day but still found room to keep one of their own. Though he’s not a marquee name, new head coach Urban Meyer apparently liked Smoot’s ability to move around the line. Robertson-Harris is similarly versatile, but flexibility will help as the Jaguars will shift more towards a 3-4 set.

Smoot, a 2017 third-round pick, has appeared in 56 games for the Jaguars. In 2020, he was first-string for the first time as he made seven starts . For his career, he’s totaled 66 stops with 14 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks.

Jaguars Wrap Up Draft Class

The Jaguars have signed their third-round pick, defensive end Dawuane Smoot, per a team announcement. The signing of Smoot means the Jaguars have locked up their entire seven-player draft class.

Dawuane Smoot

Smoot, the 68th overall selection, is coming off a four-year career at Illinois that saw him rack up 38.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks. Now, the 6-foot-3, 264-pounder will act as depth as part of an impressive defensive end group that includes offseason signing Calais Campbell, Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue, who combined for 20 sacks last year.

Here’s a look at the rest of Jacksonville’s 2017 draft class: