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Jaguars “double crossing” Marcedes Lewis shows ugly side of NFL

Florida Football Insiders

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Last month the Jaguars looked magnanimous, as they rewarded the last link to their previous winning ways of 10+ years ago, and picked up the 2018 contract option on veteran TE Marcedes Lewis.

Lewis stuck it out through continuous ten loss seasons over and over in the past few years, and he finally got rewarded. The Jaguars won 10 games, the AFC South, and two playoff games before losing just shy of the Super Bowl in New England. That’s him in the photo above catching a touchdown pass in the first half of that game.

Slated to play his 13th season coming up, the 33 year old Lewis was to have made $3.5 million in Jacksonville.

Notice, we are using past tense above.

That’s because Tuesday afternoon, the Jaguars cut Lewis a month after allegedly, rewarding him.

This move was dictated by what Jacksonville did at the end of last week in free agency: bringing in former Bucs second round pick and Jets TE of the last two years, Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Jenkins was given a two year $9.5 million deal, but it’s not known how much of that is guaranteed.

Also, the Jaguars signed Redskins free agent Niles Paul to a two year deal, but that was only worth $4.75 million total and only $1.5 million was guaranteed.

So, at that point it made Lewis’ deal/2018 salary cap dollars expendable.

He was understandably not thrilled, not only with the news, but the timing coming a week after the free agency chaos began.

Look, this isn’t anything new.

Teams release long time veteran players all the time for many reasons, and some aren’t really legitimate in terms of play or what you have sacrificed, previously.

You make too much. They want you gone. You don’t cost a lot or anything against the cap (Lewis doesn’t for 2018), you can and might very well be bye-bye.

Still, to do it this way, stinks.

It’s not some rookie or second year player that hasn’t been around. Lewis is a team captain and has played only for the Jaguars for 12 seasons.

Lewis agreed to a five year $34 million deal in 2011, while the losing had been going on. He even agreed to take a reworked new contract that was salary cap friendly for the team in April of 2015, when the Jags had lost 10 or more games for four straight years.

That freed up over $4 million for the Jaguars that season, when he did it.

And then, he agreed to the three year deal in 2016 (after two more ten loss seasons) that had the team option for 2018. The option that the Jaguars are now reneging on Tuesday.

Maybe, Lewis will find someone who gives him a decent one year deal. Maybe, he will play on for the league minimum?

Maybe, he will hang it up after 12 years?

Just remember this, when players are holding out for the most money they can get, while they can get it, it’s days like today and situations like Marcedes Lewis’ that they are thinking about.

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