JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars have trimmed their roster — and not for the last time this week or this season.
The rebuilding Jaguars pared down to the NFL-mandated, 53-man limit Friday by cutting quarterbacks Mike Kafka and Matt Scott and 19 others.
But general manager Dave Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley made it clear that more cuts are coming. Caldwell and Bradley plan to scour the waiver wire Saturday, pick up some cast-offs and hope to find one or two who can stick.
It won’t be the last time it happens this year, either. The team expects to continuously turn over the bottom few roster spots, believing it keeps players feeling uncomfortable about their job security and gives coaches and front office personnel a close-up look at guys who could help down the road.
“We will always compete to try to get our roster to where we need it to be at,” Bradley said Friday. “In my eyes, we owe it to them. I think that’s a way for them to understand what we’re trying to do. It’s difficult when you’re doing it. It could be a point where they’re going, `Here’s 103 (roster moves), here’s 104, here’s this many guys,’ and that’s the world they live in because that’s the National Football League.
“So they can’t allow that to be a distraction. If they focus too much on that, it’s going to take away from their play. I think the ones that are truly professional will understand it and just make sure they take care of themselves.”
Parting ways with Kafka likely means Ricky Stanzi, claimed off waivers from Kansas City earlier in the week, will be the third-string quarterback for next week’s season opener against the Chiefs. And with starter Blaine Gabbert still dealing with a hairline fracture in his right thumb, Stanzi could be an injury to Chad Henne away from getting on the field.
Stanzi hasn’t taken a snap in practice or in Thursday night’s preseason finale, but Jacksonville apparently saw enough of Kafka and Scott to move in another direction.
“We like what we saw on film of him, I can tell you that,” Bradley said of Stanzi. “We really did. We liked him. We were evaluating him out in warm-ups when he was throwing the ball. One of our scouts was with Kansas City and was intrigued by him. I think they passed it onto us and we watched tape, so I can just tell you that we liked what we saw.”
The Jaguars cut 19 others and placed receiver Justin Blackmon on the suspended list. Blackmon will miss the first four games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.
Jacksonville released or waived 12 veterans: Kafka, receiver Jeremy Ebert, defensive end Pannel Egboh, running back Jonathan Grimes, linebacker Brandon Marshall, receiver Charly Martin, offensive lineman Pat McQuistan, guard Drew Nowak, cornerback Kevin Rutland, defensive tackle D’Anthony Smith, linebacker Julian Stanford and cornerback Marcus Trufant.
Receiver Toney Clemons and defensive Ryan Davis, both first-year players, were waived.
Seven rookies also got the axe: Scott, defensive tackle T.J. Barnes, offensive tackle R.J. Dill, tight end Ryan Otten, receiver Tobais Palmer, safety Steven Terrell and linebacker Mike Zimmer.
The Jaguars likely will sign some of them to the practice squad Sunday.
Four undrafted free agents made the roster: fullback Lonnie Pryor, defensive tackle Abry Jones, linebacker LaRoy Reynolds, long-snapper Carson Tinker
Two newcomers made an impression in just one game.
Cornerback Will Blackmon, who can play multiple positions in the secondary and return punts, and linebacker Kyle Knox secured roster spots. Blackmon wasn’t on a roster last season, but was with Seattle during training camp before getting waived Tuesday.
Blackmon flew across country, took his physical and then met with Bradley for 45 minutes before the game.
“Will Blackmon, what can you say?” Bradley said. “He came in, he competed and he played special teams, punt returner. … He went out there, and with all of the distractions he had, he performed at a good level.”