Timing of Coleman release is puzzling

A year ago, when the Jaguars signed Drew Coleman, his expertise as a nickel corner was his appeal.

And even as the Jaguars lost defensive backs, the team kept Coleman in that narrow role. He lined up across from the receiver in the slot.

Surprisingly, the Jaguars released Coleman today, and it seems the lack of versatility that was just fine before hurt him now.

The team re-signed Rashean Mathis and he’s done very well with his rehab from a torn ACL. They signed veteran Aaron Ross. They tendered William Middleton and drafted Mike Harris.

Ross, Middleton and Harris have all played the nickel role in the past.

I would have let one of them show he’s a better option than Coleman in training camp. And I do generally abide by the thinking that you don’t make a personnel move until you have to. If Ross fell down the stairs and suffered an injury that means he won’t play in 2013, then you’d like to have Coleman back, no?

Coleman signed for three years and $7.5 million. The Jaguars paid him a bonus of just over $3 million. He was due base salaries of just over $1.5 million this year and next.

The Colts should look at Coleman, who will probably have some options with teams that didn’t get what they wanted in the draft and need nickel help.