3 Best, 3 Worst Contracts for the Jacksonville Jaguars

Nate DunlevyGuest ColumnistJanuary 22, 2013

3 Best, 3 Worst Contracts for the Jacksonville Jaguars

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    The Jacksonville Jaguars have cap space to work with, but considering how little talent they have on the roster, it's amazing they don't have a lot more.

    After a disastrous 2-14 season, the slate has been wiped clean in Jacksonville, and there are still a lot of players who could find their tenure with the club in jeopardy. There are moves the team could make to open up the doors in free agency to bolster a sagging talent base.

    Here are the best and worst of the contracts on the books for the Jags.

3 Best: Cecil Shorts

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    Length: Four years

    Total Value: $2.67 million

    Total Signing Bonus: $443,000 ($223k still to be accounted for)

    2013 Salary: $618,000

    Estimated Cap number: $729,000

    Peak Cap Number: $850,000

    Years Remaining: Two

     

    Shorts was perhaps the only bright spot in the worst season in Jaguars history. He picked up nearly 1,000 yards receiving before his season was cut short due to head injuries.

    Part of the reason why Gene Smith was fired as general manager is that there simply aren't enough good players playing on their rookie deals.

    Jaguars drafts have produced precious few diamonds in the rough.

    Tabbing Shorts as the best deal on the club was easy. Finding two other good ones was the hard part.

C.J. Mosley

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    Length: Three years

    Total Value: $7.5 million

    Total Signing Bonus: $1.075 million ($700k still to be accounted for)

    2013 Salary: $2.475 million

    Estimated Cap number: $2.8 million

    Peak Cap Number: $3.3 million

    Years Remaining: Two

     

    No one is trying to claim that Mosley is any great shakes, but he did win a starting tackle job and pick up three sacks on the season.

    Pro Football Focus rated him as the best defender the Jaguars had. That's not saying much, but that's about all it takes to qualify as "talent" on the league's worst team.

    Mosley's salary is actually high relative to his ability, but the signing bonus was low. With only $700,000 left to account for, should the Jags need to part ways with him, they can.

    The combination of a light productivity plus a low dead-money number is all it takes to qualify as a good contract on the Jaguars.

Maurice Jones-Drew

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    Length: Five years

    Total Value: $31.1 million

    Total Signing Bonus: $9 million ($3.6 million still to be accounted for)

    2013 Salary: $4.95 million

    Estimated Cap number: $8.6 million

    Peak Cap Number: $8.6 million

    Years Remaining: One

     

    You know a contract is team friendly when the player is desperate to get out of it.

    Jones-Drew was angry about his deal last year, and it resulted in a lengthy and ultimately fruitless holdout.

    The Jags locked Jones-Drew up early and have more than received their money's worth from the deal.

    Jones-Drew has only one year left, and if he's healthy, the contract will once again prove a bonus for the team.

    Because there's just one final year, the Jaguars can still save nearly $5 million if they should need to cut Jones-Drew.

    As always, production and flexibility are the key factors in a great team-friendly deal.

3 Worst: Laurent Robinson

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    Length: Five years

    Total Value: $32.5 million

    Total Signing Bonus: $8 million ($6.4 million still to be accounted for)

    2013 Salary: $2.6 million

    Estimated Cap number: $4.3 million

    Peak Cap Number: $8.1 million

    Years Remaining: Four


    Well, this is a doozy. Robinson was a huge disappointment in 2012. He missed nine games with injury and picked up just 252 yards on 24 catches and didn't have a touchdown.

    He was never comfortable and immediately looked like a terrible fit for the Jaguars.

    His contract isn't just bad due to a lack of production, however. It's also bad because the Jags are stuck with him.

    They'd take a $4 million cap hit if they tried to release him this season. If they try to release him in 2014, they'd save his $5.6 million salary, but only save about $800,000 on the cap due to his unaccounted for bonus money.

    At this point, it appears a virtual certainty that Robinson will be a Jaguar for at least two more fun-filled seasons.

Paul Posluzny

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    Length: Six years

    Total Value: $42 million

    Total Signing Bonus: $10 million ($6 million still to be accounted for)

    2013 Salary: $6.45 million

    Estimated Cap number: $8.5 million

    Peak Cap Number: $9.5 million

    Years Remaining: Four

     

    Posluzny was the heart and soul of a terrible defense.

    He's not a bad player, but the lack of talent around him makes it difficult for him to excel. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the worst Jaguar defender, but that hardly seems accurate.

    The problem with Posluzy's deal is that he's making a ton of money for a 29-year-old linebacker.

    At age 30, the Jaguars will be eating up nearly $10 million in cap space on a linebacker who is solid, but not special.

    Of course, they could always part ways with him after the season to save some cap room, but he'll still cost them $4 million in dead money.

    Smith overpaid to restock the Jags' defense and it worked for a season. The full impact of his moves is still coming home to roost.

Dawan Landry

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    Length: Five years

    Total Value: $27.5 million

    Total Signing Bonus: $6.5 million ($3.9 million still to be accounted for)

    2013 Salary: $5.35 million

    Estimated Cap number: $6.7 million

    Peak Cap Number: $6.8 million

    Years Remaining: Three

     

    There's nothing like paying more than $5 million a year for a below-average safety on the wrong side of the 30.

    Ladies and gentlemen, the Gene Smith era! Let's give it a round of applause.

    Yet another in a series of disastrous deals, the Jags overpaid for an average defender. Cutting Landry this year would only save the team about $1.4 million thanks to all the dead money they'd ring up.

    Again, it's not that Landry is a terrible player. He's just not a good player, and he's expensive.

    The same could be said for other bad deals the Jags have to contend with like Marcedes Lewis, Uche Nwarneri, Jeremy Mincey, Josh Scobee and Aaron Ross.

    Any team this bad should have a lot more roster flexibility than the Jaguars do.

    Watch for a mass exodus of Smith-era players over the next 13 months.