PFR’s Ben Levine wrote yesterday that Jaguars owner Shad Khan expects his club to be active in free agency in 2015, and Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union followed up on Khan’s statements this morning. O’Halloran, noting that the Jags have nearly $30MM in cap room, a “figure that could double with rollover (unused) dollars, an increase in the cap and cleared space from veterans who will be released or not re-signed,” will have a whole host of opportunities to improve their roster next year.
Although Jacksonville is still far from a destination of choice for the league’s top free agents, Khan noted that it is not just the money that the team has to spend that excites him, it is the fact that 2014 has revealed the specific needs that the Jaguars need to address in the offseason. As our Rob DiRe pointed out yesterday, the team could look to add a defensive lineman, a free safety, and a pair of linebackers.
Now for some more links from around the league:
- An earlier report from NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport claimed that 20 Cowboys players missed curfew on Friday night, but Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk writes that owner Jerry Jones said there were no curfew violations because there is no curfew. Meanwhile, head coach Jason Garrett said there is a curfew, at midnight. As Alper notes, this is not the first time Garrett and Jones have issued contradictory statements regarding the team’s inner machinations, and the Cowboys need a win today to divert attention from what should have been a non-issue.
- In the wake of the mounting criticism surrounding Falcons head coach Mike Smith, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution sides with defensive lineman Osi Umenyiora, who believes the coaching staff is not the problem. Ledbetter writes, “If the Falcons get rid of the winningest coach in team history, it won’t be about winning football games. It will be about selling tickets and premium seat licenses to the new stadium.”
- Marc Sessler of NFL.com says retired wideout Randy Moss, to whom the Seahawks made overtures after trading Percy Harvin, said he would come out of retirement if Peyton Manning and the Broncos came calling.
- Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times writes that “how the season ends — and how [Marshawn] Lynch plays — may matter only so much in the debate” as to whether the Seahawks should retain Lynch after this season. Instead, “it will still come down largely to one thing — will the Seahawks think it worth it to pay Lynch $7 million in 2015 when he’s 29 years old? And will Lynch be happy playing out the final year or would he ask for more money?”
- ESPN’s Ed Werder reports that 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith‘s suspension was not reduced as expected, thereby allowing him to participate in today’s game, because “while Smith did more than mandated in terms of community service, he did not fulfill the obligations assigned him in terms of his counseling protocol.”
- Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that, although the Browns and Brian Hoyer have not engaged in contract talks since the summer, sources indicate the deal that Andy Dalton recently signed with the Bengals will be the benchmark for future negotiations.