The Jaguars are in a much different salary cap situation in 2023 compared to last offseason. That will inevitably lead to fewer notable signings during free agency, but also cost-cutting moves leading up to the new league year.
One instance of that will concern cornerback Shaquill Griffin. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that Jacksonville will look to find a trade partner for him in the coming days; barring that, he will be released (Twitter link). Moving on from Griffin will mark an end to his two-year stint in Jacksonville.
Griffin is due a base salary of $11.5MM in 2023, the final season of a three-year, $40MM accord signed in 2021. His scheduled cap hit is $17.1MM, however, and no guaranteed money remains on his pact, making him a logical cut candidate. His release will save the Jaguars just over $13MM while generating a dead cap charge of $4MM.
The 27-year-old carried high expectations upon his arrival in Jacksonville, given his production in three years with the Seahawks. Griffin earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2019, and was a full-time starter in his two seasons in Duval County. His 2022 campaign was limited to just five games due to a back injury. The former third-rounder was held without an interception during his time as a Jaguar, and he totaled only 11 pass deflections in his 19 games there.
Still, his age and past success will likely allow Griffin to generate a notable market as a free agent. He will find himself near the top of the list of available corners, alongside the likes of James Bradberry and Marcus Peters. In an update which will help his value significantly, Jordan Schultz of the Score reports that Griffin has full received medical clearance (Twitter link).
Once Griffin is off the books, Jacksonville will have roughly $29MM in cap space, a figure which will help them retain a shortlist of coveted in-house free agents. That includes tight end Evan Engram, who was reported earlier today to be in line for the franchise tag to guarantee his presence on the team for at least 2023, or longer if talks on a multi-year deal proceed according to plan. Jacksonville will, though, need to identify one or more Griffin replacements in free agency and the draft to bolster a secondary which ranked 28th in the league in passing yards allowed in 2022.