JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After beating most NFL teams to the punch in trimming their active roster to 53 players, the Jacksonville Jaguars are again looking to see where they might improve heading into the regular season.
Coach Gus Bradley said on Friday, more than 24 hours before the league’s cutdown deadline, that “I’m sure we’ll pick up a player or two” from other teams. The Jaguars claimed three players this past week who had been released elsewhere, with two of them figuring into perhaps the most difficult decisions made by Bradley and general manager Dave Caldwell.
By adding cornerback Will Blackmon, who made an immediate contribution in the final preseason game Thursday night on both defense and special teams, the Jaguars were able to part with 11-year veteran Marcus Trufant.
Bradley was Seattle’s defensive coordinator from 2009-12 and was familiar with Trufant, who had spent his entire career with the Seahawks. But with Mike Harris having nailed down the nickel back position, the Jaguars chose to keep Blackmon and seventh-round draft pick Demetrius McCray as backups and release Trufant.
They also waived quarterbacks Mike Kafka and Matt Scott, both of whom had played in all four preseason games, while retaining Ricky Stanzi as their only player at that position behind Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne. Stanzi was cut last weekend by the Kansas City Chiefs, who drafted him in the fifth round in 2011.
While the Jaguars will open their season against the Chiefs, Bradley laughed at the suggestion that Stanzi was signed for any potential inside information he might have about their upcoming opponent.
“There’s too much credit that goes into that,” he said. “It’s not like you’re visiting with a coach. He’s learning a new system and things like that. We like Ricky for what he brought and the talent level he has. We’ll just take it from there.”
Since the Jaguars didn’t turn in their cuts until just before the 6 p.m. deadline Saturday, they were able to make a trade involving someone on that list of 21 players. Defensive tackle D’Anthony Smith was dealt to the Seahawks for an undisclosed draft pick.
With the trade, Bradley and Caldwell have now made a total of 128 roster moves since they were hired after last season, including 55 since the start of training camp.