Today’s moves include the release of QB Byron Leftwich, S Josh Gattis, G Dan Connolly, S Jamaal Fudge, LB Nick Greisen, DT Seth Payne, WR Charles Sharon, CB Bruce Thornton, CB Dee Webb, DT Joe Anoai, LB Kevis Coley, DL Walter Curry, OT Ryan Gibbons, DE Tyler King, DB Jamar Landrom, LB Roy Manning, G Pete McMahon, CB Rashod Moulton, and TE Isaac Smolko. The team also traded RB Alvin Pearman to the Seattle Seahawks for an undisclosed pick, and placed DE James Wyche (groin) and WR Mike Walker (knee) on the injured reserve.
- We’ve talked about the release of Leftwich already, and it’s pretty much a consensus opinion that the timing of the release is beyond horrible.
- Regarding the safeties, the team decided to release both Josh Gattis and Jamaal Fudge, and retain Sammy Knight. The Gattis move is understandable, even though he’s a fifth-round pick, but Fudge had a great camp and preseason. Knight is a veteran, but he didn’t show much in the two preseason games that he played in.
- On the offensive line, the Jaguars decided to release Dan Connelly, Ryan Gibbons, and Pete McMahon. These moves make sense, but in somewhat of a surprise move, the team retained veteran guard Tutan Reyes. Reyes has only been with the team a few weeks, so they must have liked what they saw to keep 10 offensive linemen.
- At linebacker, the team decided to release veteran Nick Greisen, Kevis Coley, and Roy Manning. No real surprises there, as Pat Thomas and Brian Iwuh clearly outplayed Greisen during camp and preseason.
- On the defensive line, the Jaguars released veteran Seth Payne, who they signed just two weeks earlier. From a purely football standpoint this move makes sense, however they paid Payne nearly $600,000 in guaranteed money just two weeks ago. Nice work if you can get it.
- Some of the other defensive lineman released were Joe Anoai, Walter Curry, and Tyler King. None of those cuts were surprises, but the team decided to retain Kenny Pettway and injured veteran Paul Spicer, which can be considered somewhat startling.
-Wide Receiver Charles Sharon was the odd man out despite having a fantastic preseason. Sharon may have been the teams’ best route runner, but he still has some practice squad eligibility.
-The cornerbacks who didn’t make the final roster were Bruce Thornton, Dee Webb, and Rashod Moulton. Webb played horribly through preseason so that move wasn’t much of a surprise, and Moulton never gave himself much of a chance. The release of Thornton is fairly surprising considering the team kept veteran Terry Cousin, who was getting beat by opposing receivers so badly and often in the preseason, that it appeared as if Cousin owed them money.
- The final cut was tight end Isaac Smolko. Smolko played all three phases in the Jaguars final preseason game, and also caught a touchdown pass. It’s not a shocking move that the Jaguars cut Smolko, but rather the team kept veteran tight end Richard Angulo. Angulo didn’t do a lot in preseason, and didn’t really stand out in camp.
- The Jaguars decided to trade running back Alvin Pearman, ironically the day that his competition, running back LaBrandon Toefield was publicly lobbying for a trade. Pearman isn’t spectacular, but he does all the little things, and he is versatile enough to return punts if Dennis Northcutt becomes incapacitated. Trading Toefield may have been the better move, assuming there were any other suitors.
- Definitely two of today’s biggest surprises from the Jaguars tricky front office were the placement of both defensive end James Wyche, and wide receiver Mike Walker on the injured reserve for the season. Wyche looked like a star in camp at a position in which the Jaguars are fairly thin, and Mike Walker may be the most talented receiver on the roster, despite not being overly productive in the preseason.
My final thoughts on cut day are…huh? The idea of keeping Terry Cousin in place of Bruce Thornton didn’t make a ton of sense to me, but I can understand it, somewhat. I wouldn’t have traded Pearman, I would have released Toefield. I’m sure the undisclosed, likely to be sixth or seventh round pick will serve the team well next season. The biggest surprises, for me (aside from Leftwich) are the retention of Angulo, Reyes, and Pettway. My thinking is that any one, or all three of Wyche, Walker, or Sharon can help the team more this season.
The moves that the Jaguars have made over the last 48 hours have had me scratching my head. The entire Leftwich situation was turned into a complete debacle, and the final result is a starting quarterback who hasn’t taken a snap against a first team defense since he was benched back in December, and gaining no compensation for a former seventh overall pick who happens to be a quarterback (in a quarterback starved league), with a winning record in the NFL.