Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell is getting to enjoy his reward of his second straight Pro Bowl with the team this week in Orlando. However, on Wednesday Campbell was being a “true company man” and, when asked about whether or not the Jags are trying to get him to restructure his deal.
Campbell told John Reid of the Florida Times-Union Wednesday afternoon that he and the team are talking contract renegotiation coming off his second year in Jacksonville.
''I think it’s more with restructuring with an extension,″ Calais Campbell said after Wednesday’s Pro Bowl practice at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. ″That’s the only way to do it and that’s something that was talked about that could possibly happen.″https://t.co/Cegtzls82z
— John Reid (@JohnReid64) January 23, 2019
Coming off a second-year, where he once again had double-digit sacks and is still the unquestioned leader in the Jaguars locker room, the question would be why?
Why, when Campbell, who’s worth every penny they paid him off the free agent market so far, shouldn’t a top priority to free up money. You would think that fellow defensive tackles Marcell Dareus, $10 million non-guaranteed for next year and Malik Jackson, $15 million salary with only $4 million guaranteed 2019, would be just as big or bigger candidates to re-structure.
It’s understood that Jags are currently, over the cap in projected spending for now, but they will likely be cutting QB Blake Bortles to save some money and could do the same to a couple of others, too.
The team could also entertain trading Leonard Fournette and saving $7 million off his 2019 salary. However, that’s a different difficult decision to weigh.
Campbell’s quote to Reid on the subject was, ″that’s the only way to do it and that’s something that was talked about that could possibly happen.″
He is alluding to still collecting all or most of his 2018 money through signing bonus, etc.
And, that shouldn’t be something that you’re you’re mandating to one of your stars and leaders on a team that lost 10 of its last 12 games.
Yet, that looks like what VP of football Tom Coughlin and GM Dave Caldwell are in fact trying to put Campbell in the position to do. He likely would receive more guaranteed money in the form of a signing bonus next year to lower his cap number, but it could also mean he may get less overall salary in the end for 2019 and certainly for 2020.
An interesting comparison is with the Buccaneers 6 time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. While McCoy has not had the same accomplishments on the field the last two seasons as Campbell has, he has a large price tag ($13 million) for 2019.
And at age 30, McCoy is two years younger. However, like Campbell, he may be in the right frame of mind to accept a renegotiated deal that keeps him in Tampa Bay for new coach Bruce Arians and new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
The Buccaneers may very well have come or about to come to McCoy with the same kind of proposition, and in that case, it would be more warranted than what the Jaguars are doing with Campbell.
The team had no comment on Campbell putting out there at the Pro Bowl that talks are ongoing.
The final part is what is the actual deal.
Jags WR Marqise Lee returns to practice
After losing veteran Alfred Blue in the first half of the 24–10 Thursday night loss to the Eagles with an ankle injury, the Jaguars are looking for offensive depth. In some fortunate news, WR Marqise Lee is off of the PUP list and has begun practicing today, roughly one year after suffering from knee damage that sidelined him for the entire 2018 season.
Head coach Doug Marrone made the announcement before practice on Saturday.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 17, 2019
First Coast news reporter Ben Murphy got a video of Lee at practice receiving a pass from QB Nick Foles.
— Ben Murphy (@BenMurphyTV) August 17, 2019
Last year, Lee was injured in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Falcons. He was hit by reserve defensive back Damontae Kazee on this play after a reception.
— Kevin Boilard (@247KevinBoilard) August 25, 2018
Lee suffered a torn ACL and went on injured reserve missing the entire season.
Lee became more prominent in Jacksonville’s pass offense in 2017 with 56 catches for 702 yards and three TDs. The Jags are surely going to rely on him this season which could mean he’ll see the field a bit in their third preseason game to get him readjusted to competitive game play.
However, they might not want to risk another potential injury before the season begins. We could see it going either way. We do know that he’ll be a great weapon for Nick Foles to utilize this season.
The return of Lee is coming off the heels of some other good news for the Jags announced earlier this week. Starting left tackle Cam Robinson was also removed from the PUP list on Monday after suffering a torn ACL in Week 2 last season. He has since made enough progress participate in some individual drills and should be ready, along with Lee, for their season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
In other injury-related news, we await how serious Blue’s ankle injury is coming off this second preseason game. Meanwhile, the likelihood is that Leonard Fournette, backed up by Thomas Rawls, will be the two running backs when the Jaguars play at the Dolphins next Thursday night.
Jaguars searching for RB depth after second preseason game
With preseason game number two in the books, it’s apparent the Jaguars have real issues with running back depth due to injury. This after veteran Alfred Blue left the first half of the 24 – 10 Thursday night loss to the Eagles with an ankle injury and did not return.
Blue carried the ball four times for just five yards has Jacksonville offense once again sputtered behind a makeshift offensive line. Coach Doug Marrone was so concerned about that line situation and their ability to protect/block that starting quarterback Nick Foles and running back Leonard Fournette never saw the field for a single play during Thursday night.
That means that veteran at Thomas Rawls (above Thursday) was called upon to carry the ball a little more, and he did so, seven times for 19 yards including a long run of 11 playing in the first half.
Rawls is a 5th year veteran who had some modest success with the Seahawks, including rushing for 830 yards his rookie year in 2015 with a 5.6 yard per carry average. His numbers tapered off in 2016 – 17 with ankle and foot injuries, as he only played in 21 games in those two years. Rawls was later released and picked up by the Bengals, but injured again last season, and never carried the ball in Cincinnati.
Obviously, the Jaguars are wanting to implement Fournette, as the primary ball carrier, but they will need someone else to spell him on a series or two. Also, Fournette has had durability questions, as he missed parts or all of eight games last year with a hamstring injury.
The Jags were also hoping to bring along Temple rookie running back Ryquell Armstead, but after he carried eight times for 22 yards last week, he suffered a concussion in the preseason opening loss to the Ravens. Armstead hasn’t practiced since, and is still being evaluated with no further update Thursday.
Speaking of updates, we await how serious Blue’s ankle injury is coming off this second preseason game. Meanwhile, the likelihood is that Fournette, backed up by Rawls, will be the two running backs when the Jaguars play at the Dolphins next Thursday night.