Two 2015 free agent signings who haven’t quite panned out to the Jaguars’ liking will spend the rest of the season on injured reserve, with the Jags shelving Julius Thomas and Jared Odrick, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union tweets.
Offensive lineman Luke Bowanko and running back Bronson Hill will ascend to the 53-man roster, Bowanko from the PUP list and Hill from the practice squad, respectively, per O’Halloran.
Sidelined with a back injury, Thomas has not played since Nov. 20 and has not delivered the kind of production the Jaguars envisioned when they signed him to one of the top tight end contracts in the league at five years and $46MM. Of course, not much has gone right for the Jags this season, and Thomas isn’t the only offensive talent to underperform. The sixth-year pass-catcher has 30 receptions for 281 yards and four touchdowns in nine games.
Odrick, who will miss the rest of the season due to a spate injuries, inked a five-year deal worth $42.5MM last year and also hasn’t lived up to the contract. He has one sack this season in six games. A former Dolphins first-round pick, Odrick started every game in 2015 but has seen numerous maladies sidetrack him during this his seventh season. Triceps, quadriceps, ankle and shoulder ailments plagued Odrick, who profiles as a potential cap casualty in the spring.
The Jags can save $8.5MM off their 2017 cap by cutting Odrick in March. His contract structured as a two-year deal with an escape hatch after 2016, Jacksonville would not take on any dead money by shedding it before the ’17 league year begins.
Thomas, meanwhile, would bring a $3.6MM dead-money charge. The former Broncos tight end who came to north Florida having back-to-back seasons of 12 touchdown receptions has totaled nine in two years with the Jags, and the injury troubles that induced the former 2011 fourth-round pick to miss 28 games in four Denver seasons have continued in Jacksonville. Although this season didn’t bring the kind of ankle trouble Thomas experienced during his first five, his deal will likely be a discussion point for what is almost certain to be a revamped Jags decision-making staff in 2017.