By: Hays Carlyon
Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell said at the NFL Scouting Combine last week that the Jaguars would have maneuverability in free agency.
They created that maneuverability on Friday in preparation for the start of the new league year on Wednesday.
The Jaguars cut defensive tackle Malik Jackson, free safety Tashaun Gipson, right tackle Jermey Parnell, running back Carlos Hyde and long snapper Carson Tinker. The five cuts will save the Jaguars a combined $30 million on the salary cap of $188.2 million for this season.
Quarterback Blake Bortles was not released, as the team will likely keep him until his replacement is signed on Wednesday.
Jackson signed a six-year, $85.5-million contract with $42 million guaranteed in 2016. He made the Pro Bowl in the 2017 season, recording eight sacks. The 29-year-old Jackson saw his sack total dip to 3 ½ this past season and he became a liability in stopping the run.
Jackson never missed a game in his three years with the Jaguars (51 counting the playoffs). However, he lost his starting spot for six games this past season including the final five. Jackson played 628 snaps this past season, a 61-percent clip.
Jackson’s release frees up $11 million, with a $4-million dead money charge.
Gipson signed a five-year, $36-million contract with $12 million guaranteed in 2016. He never missed a star for the Jaguars, with 51 counting the playoffs. Gipson picked off six passes and recovered a fumble for the Jaguars.
The 28-year-old Gipson played 1,006 defensive snaps this past season, a 98-percent clip. The Jaguars will be replacing both safety spots, having cut strong safety Barry Church late last season.
Gipson’s release saves $7.5 million in cap space and carries a $1.6 million dead money charge.
Parnell signed a five-year, $32-million contract with $14.5 million guaranteed in 2015. His release saves $6 million with no dead money. The 32-year-old Parnell started 60 games (including the playoffs) for the Jaguars. He logged 869 snaps last season, an 84-percent rate.
The Jaguars traded for Hyde shortly before the deadline on Oct. 19 sending this year’s fifth-round pick to Cleveland. Hyde, 28, ran for 189 yards with no touchdowns and a 3.3-yard average in eight games with the Jaguars.
Cutting Hyde saves $4.7 million with no dead money.
Tinker, who joined the Jaguars in 2013, was scheduled to make $860,000.
(You can email Hays at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @HaysCarlyon)