Chris Clemons Released by Jaguars: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Daniel Kramer@dkramer_Featured ColumnistMarch 3, 2016

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 06:  Chris Clemons #91 of the Jacksonville Jaguars watches from the sideline during a game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on December 6, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars announced Thursday they've released 13-year veteran defensive end Chris Clemons. 

Clemons was just two years into his four-year, $17.5 million contract, per Spotrac, and his release could be a precluding move to the Jaguars' pursuit of impending free agent Bruce Irvin.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Monday a league source said the Jaguars could pursue the star pass-rusher, who spent the past four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.

ESPN’s John Clayton (h/t Brian Jones of 247Sports) reported Irvin will sign with either the Jaguars or the Atlanta Falcons at $9.5 million per year. 

The Jaguars have $75.8 million in cap space to pursue Irvin, according to Over the Cap. They freed up an additional $9.5 million, per Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk, by releasing Clemons and guard Zane Beadles, who was also let go Thursday. 

Clemons was initially demoted after the Jaguars selected Dante Fowler Jr. with the No. 3 overall pick in last year’s draft, but was re-promoted when Fowler tore his ACL in rookie minicamp. 

In 2015, Clemons started eight of 16 games and recorded 14 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble—finishing as Pro Football Focus' 110th-ranked edge-rusher.

He was far more productive in his first season in Jacksonville, tallying eight sacks and four forced fumbles with 36 tackles. However, he never quite replicated the success he had in Seattle, where he averaged 9.5 sacks per season and was a huge contributor to the Seahawks’ top-ranked defense that won Super Bowl 48. 

Clemons was also a no-show to offseason organized team activities in both his seasons with the Jaguars. Although the workouts were voluntary, head coach Gus Bradley was not thrilled with Clemons’ absences. 

With the return of Fowler, the first defensive player taken in last year’s draft, and the strong likelihood Jacksonville pursues another top pass-rusher with free agency beginning next week, Clemons’ days seemed numbered.