Julius Thomas: Jacksonville Jaguars have decision to make
The Jacksonville Jaguars have a decision to make in regards to former big money free agent Julius Thomas, who has a salary guarantee coming up…
The Jacksonville Jaguars are certainly not hurting for cap space, but that doesn’t mean that Dave Caldwell and Tom Coughlin aren’t going to be smart and responsible with every bit of their financial assets. There’s a big decision forthcoming from this team on tight end Julius Thomas, the talented but oft-injured former big money free agent signing.
— Spotrac (@spotrac) February 7, 2017
As you can see from that table and the great folks at Spotrac, Thomas is due $3 million of his 2017 salary on February 10th. That means that the Jaguars basically have to decide whether or not Thomas is going to be part of their team moving forward at some point in the coming days.
It’s not an easy decision, as Thomas has played alright when he’s been healthy, but those times have been sparse. He played just nine games this past season, and 12 the year prior. He has never played a full 16 game slate in the NFL, and struggled right out of college with injuries when he was with the Denver Broncos.
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It took a couple of seasons to get fully healthy, but when Thomas was on the field for the Broncos from 2013-2014, he was one of the best receiving threats at the tight end position in the NFL. He caught 24 touchdown passes in those two seasons, one being Peyton Manning’s incredible 55-touchdown, MVP season of 2013.
Thomas’ production over those two seasons earned him a contract with the Jaguars that made him the highest paid tight end in the NFL at the time. Now, he could find himself a street free agent, where he would certainly be hotly pursued. The Jaguars would be on the hook for $3.6 million if they cut him this week, but most of his guaranteed money ($24 million) came in the first two years of the contract.
Currently, the Jaguars are expected to have over $64 million in cap space, so cutting Thomas would be almost purely a football move. They would save $4.7 million this year by cutting him prior to February 10th.