Jags get under salary cap by restructuring deals for Kirk, Scherff, and Jones
Updated: Mar 2
The Jacksonville Jaguars started the process of freeing up salary cap space for the 2023 season last week with a variety of transactions. Those transactions included restructuring the contract of linebacker Foye Oluokun and extending defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris, to name a few.
However, those moves didn’t get them under the cap as they came into this week over the cap by approximately $12.4 million, but on Tuesday, they changed that. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the team created $26.14 million in cap space by converting the base salaries of veterans Christian Kirk, Brandon Scherff, and Zay Jones into signing bonuses.
All three of the players who converted their salaries on Tuesday were offensive additions the team made during the 2022 free-agency period. According to 1010XL's Mia O'Brien, this was expected after Jags quarterback Trevor Lawrence met with several players about potential contract alterations.
Kirk's deal was the most notable of the Jags' 2023 offseason. The veteran signed with the team through a four-year $72 million contract that included a signing bonus of $20 million and guaranteed $37 million. He went on to have the best year of his career and was able to surpass the 1,000-yard mark for the first time since he entered the league.
Scherff's deal was one of the more notable ones for the Jags, too, as the veteran joined the team on a three-year $49.5 million contract that included a $15 million signing bonus and guaranteed $30 million. The veteran brought a great deal of experience to the Jags' offensive line and help protect Lawrence, who is coming off of a career year.
Lastly, Jones signed with the Jags on a three-year contract worth $24 million with $14 million of it being fully guaranteed. Like Kirk, Jones put up career numbers, accumulating 82 catches for 823 yards and five touchdowns.
O'Brien also reported that the feeling is that a new deal will get done for tight end Evan Engram, whether it's an extension or franchise tag. While fans would prefer a long-term solution over the latter, this is still good news for the team as Engram was a significant contributor for the team last season. The former first-round pick finished the season with a career-high 73 receptions for 766 yards and four touchdowns (the second-highest total of his career).
There are still moves the Jags could make to free up more cap space if they wanted. The most notable one would be to release cornerback Shaq Griffin, which would free up $13.4 million. That money would help significantly when it comes to getting Engram and defensive lineman Arden Key new deals as the front office will look to focus on their own players this offseason when it comes to free-agency.