Jacksonville Jaguars: Five Players Who Could Replace Rashean Mathis

David Levin@@davidlevin71Senior Writer IIFebruary 10, 2012

Jacksonville Jaguars: Five Players Who Could Replace Rashean Mathis

0 of 5

    The Jacksonville Jaguars have an important decision to make in the next few weeks: When do they release hometown hero Rashean Mathis?

    The Jaguars defensive back tore his ACL in the game at Indianapolis this past season, thus probably ending his career in teal.

    Mathis provided more than good play on the playing field, but also strong leadership in the locker room and the practice squad.

    It's not a matter of if the team will release him, but rather when. And with that comes discussion of who will replace him. Here is a look at some players who may be able to fill the roster spot.

Cortland Finnegan, Tennessee Titans

1 of 5

    I think there will be many suitors for Finnegan, who at times plays recklessly, but he can hit with the best of them.

    Finnegan is a key component to the Titans defense and secondary. Could he bolt for a better offer (maybe Dallas as well)?

    The Titans will make him a great offer to stay and there could be three or four teams who get into a bidding war for his services.

Morris Claiborne, LSU

2 of 5

    I see him off the board by the fifth pick in the draft (Tampa Bay), so this probably will not happen.

    Claiborne is already better than at least a third of the defensive backs in the NFL and his coverage and return skills would be a welcome addition to this team.

    With his size and speed combination, could he be a Ronnie Lott-type of player? Whoever drafts him hopes he will be.

Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska

3 of 5

    His stock dropped at the Senior Bowl because of a hip flexor injury. He can still play and become a top cover guy in the NFL.

    Maybe a poor outing helps the Jaguars because someone with his talent may slip a bit. If he is a good as he was in college, then the Jags may get a steal in the second or third round.

    I still have him listed as one of my top five defensive backs in this draft.

LaRon Landry, Washington Redskins

4 of 5

    Two Landrys in the Jaguars' secondary? Is that really possible?

    Maybe, but LaRon has been instrumental in helping the Redskins have one of the better defenses and secondaries in the NFL.

    Dawan Landry was a free-agent signing from Baltimore last season and played up to his potential and then some. LaRon is the older of the two, but he still can hit as hard as any safety in the game.

Brent Grimes, Atlanta Falcons

5 of 5

    If he came to Jacksonville, it would be outstanding, but I see the Falcons giving him the franchise tag so they can sign John Abraham and Curtis Lofton as well to help keep the defense in tact.

    When Grimes was in the lineup, the Falcons secondary was very good. When he was injured, the team struggled late in the season.

    That is all you need to know about how his work is important to an Atlanta defense that finished 12th overall in the NFL last season.