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What’s the truth on Jaguars free agent spending?

Florida Football Insiders

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Photo by Kirby Lee

Things have settled down quite a bit, since the frenzy of last week in free agency. And so, we can now begin to sort through what teams, like the Jaguars, were able to do in terms of helping their team and hopefully, not mortgaging their salary cap future to do so.

Here’s some quick analysis and breakdown what Jacksonville did and the financial consequences.

First, the “prize” offensive line signing was former Panthers guard Andrew Norwell, and as we wrote last week, he received a hefty $30 million guaranteed. And now, the numbers are in, and Norwell got $15 million to sign the deal and his $2 million salary for 2018 is guaranteed. So he makes $17 million this year, but the Jags spaced out the signing bonus, so his cap number is only $5 million for the season.

Savy move.

Next, the Jaguars re-upped WR Marqise Lee with $18 million guaranteed over four years, and $7 million came directly to him with his signing bonus. And again, his cap number is only $4.75 million for 2018 with that bonus being spread out.

Now, why was keeping those numbers for 2018 important?

Well, in part because it gave the Jaguars flexibility to do what they did late in the week.

They landed Colts WR Donte Moncrief on Friday and the details of that deal are now known, too:

So, Moncrief got more than double what Lee got guaranteed for 2018, and has the potential to make almost triple of Lee this season. However, one of the shrewd parts of what VP Tom Coughlin, GM Dave Caldwell and cap expert John Idzik accomplished was getting Moncrief and not having to commit beyond this year to him.

Also Friday, the Jaguars lured TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins to North Florida with a two year $9.5 million deal. Now, it isn’t known just yet, how much of that was a signing bonus/guaranteed for 2018, but the safe bet based on the other two multi year deals above is Sefarian Jenkins probably got something like $3-4 million to sign. Then, the Jaguars probably have a low base salary ($1 million or less) and he can be cut after this year without much consequence, if he doesn’t produce.

It’s an example of how you can navigate with the room that you have, and how players are willing to come to you, if you start to show success and promise, which the Jaguars did a year ago.

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