Bjoern Werner to Jaguars: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 30: Bjoern Werner #92 of the Indianapolis Colts in action against the Washington Redskins during the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 30, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts defeated the Redskins 49-27. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

After three underwhelming years with the Indianapolis Colts, Bjoern Werner will look to kick-start his NFL career with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Jaguars announced Werner's signing on their official website, though terms of the deal were not made available.

Early in the draft process, Werner was considered one of the top pass-rushers available in 2013. He eventually slipped to the Colts at No. 24. Primarily a defensive end at Florida State, he moved to linebacker in Indianapolis. The switch never seemed to work, as Werner left the Colts recording 6.5 sacks in 38 games.

The Dallas Morning News' Jon Machota put those numbers in perspective:

Jon Machota @jonmachota

Colts waived Bjoern Werner. 2013 first-round pick. Played 3-4 OLB in Indy. Had 20 sacks over final two seasons at Florida State as a 4-3 DE.

General manager Ryan Grigson has been criticized in the past for his personnel decisions, and as CBSSports.com's Will Brinson noted, Werner is one of a few recent whiffs by the team in the draft:

Will Brinson @WillBrinson

Colts last 4 first round picks: Andrew Luck Bjoern Werner (cut) Trent Richardson* (cut) Phillip Dorsett (18 catches) *via trade

In addition to his struggles at linebacker, Werner had a hard time staying healthy. He missed three games as a rookie with a foot injury, and knee and shoulder issues limited him in 2014. In an interview with the Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder in May 2015, he discussed his health problems:

It's that simple. Since I've entered the league, I haven't been healthy one time. ...

I don't want to sound cocky, but personally, I feel like when I'm out there and healthy, I can be a baller. I can do it all. You always have to get that mojo going of course. But I'm telling you, I'm confident I can be an NFL player and a starter in this league.

Werner was inactive for six games last year despite not suffering from a specified injury in 2015. Perhaps that lighter workload, coupled with an entire offseason to rest his body, will allow Werner to be 100 percent for the start of the 2016 regular season.

There's no question the former Florida State Seminole carries some risk for the Jaguars. Their financial investment probably isn't significant, but it's far from a guarantee Werner can even offer depth along the front seven.

Of course, the Jaguars won't need Werner to be more than a depth player. Head coach Gus Bradley and general manager David Caldwell have invested a lot of resources into upgrading their pass rush over the last two years. 

Malik Jackson signed with the Jaguars as a free agent. Last year's first-round pick, Dante Fowler, will be back from a torn ACL that kept him from playing a game in 2015. This year's second-round pick, Myles Jack, has the ability to get after the quarterback as a pass-rushing linebacker. 

The modus operandi for Bradley and Caldwell seems to be to acquire as many options as possible to see which ones will stick. 

The fact the Colts cut Werner after three years is a major indictment on his value in the NFL, especially with the team's recent draft history. Surely, Indianapolis wouldn't have let him go if it thought there was any chance he could turn things around on the field.

Of course, maybe it's just the case of Werner needing new surroundings. He could thrive with the right role in the right scheme. He'll also be carrying a massive chip on his shoulder with the way his time with the Colts ended.

Werner is one of the bigger buyer-beware pass-rushers available. There's a chance he's another two or three years from washing out of the league altogether. Still, it's worth giving him one more chance to see if he can fulfill the potential he showed coming out of college.

The Jaguars know Werner will need work if he's ever going to reach his full potential, but they will be satisfied if he just provides a handful of sacks playing in their rotation next season. 


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