JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars cut 20 players and placed one on IR on Friday and Saturday, trimming their roster to the NFL-mandated 53 players. Here’s a closer look at the final cuts:
Most significant move: It doesn’t qualify as a significant move -- the Jaguars didn’t really make one that qualifies -- but the team did release fan favorite DE Ryan Davis. He had 11.0 sacks in 31 games with the Jaguars, including 6.5 in 2014. Davis is listed as a defensive end but was an effective interior rusher on third down when lining up next to DT Sen'Derrick Marks. However, Davis got caught up in a bit of a numbers game after the Jaguars signed DT Malik Jackson. Marks and Jackson will be the two interior rushers on third down, and the Jaguars really like what they’ve seen from rookie fourth-round pick Sheldon Day. The Jaguars moved Davis to what they call the otto position, which is essentially a strongside linebacker, in the spring to back up Dan Skuta. The Jaguars kept only five linebackers: Paul Posluszny, Telvin Smith, Myles Jack, Hayes Pullard III and Skuta.
Most significant non-move: The Jaguars didn’t choose between running backs Corey Grant and Joe Banyard and instead kept five players at the position. It is an interesting choice since Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon are going to get the bulk of the carries and Denard Robinson will be the third back. General manager Dave Caldwell said the decision came down to special teams. Grant is the team's kick returner, and Caldwell said Banyard played well on special teams. Caldwell also said it would be hard to have five tight ends or six receivers active on game day because the fifth tight end and sixth receiver likely wouldn't be guys who do much on special teams. Banyard does. Both Grant and Banyard played well in the preseason finale against Atlanta, with Grant rushing for 62 yards on eight carries and Banyard rushing for 43 yards on 11 carries.
Three QBs: It may be surprising to some that the Jaguars kept rookie QB Brandon Allen, but that was a decision the Jaguars had all but made before training camp even began. The staff was really impressed with Allen during organized team activities and minicamp, and he performed up to their expectations during the preseason, even if his stats weren’t particularly impressive (27-for-48, 302 yards, 3 INTs, 2 TDs). "I think we were trending there [toward keeping Allen]," Caldwell said. "We thought he'd perform well [against Atlanta in the preseason finale]. He did perform well. That's how he's performed since we had him at the Senior Bowl. We kind of knew he was going to be a guy that we were going to have to keep throughout the season." The Jaguars view Allen as the eventual replacement for Chad Henne as Blake Bortles' backup. That’s not going to happen this season, but it could be the case in 2017.
Odds & ends: The Jaguars essentially kept five offensive tackles in Kelvin Beachum, Jermey Parnell, Josh Wells and Patrick Omameh, as well as Luke Joeckel, who is now the starter at left guard but has 31 starts at left tackle. Wells is still recovering from a fractured thumb and may not be ready for several weeks, but the Jaguars didn’t want to put him on IR or have him scooped up if they waived him. Keeping Omameh is partly insurance until Wells is cleared. … The Jaguars were intrigued by CB Nick Marshall last season and kept him on the active roster as an undrafted rookie, but he didn’t make a significant enough leap during camp that the Jaguars opted to go with Josh Johnson instead. Johnson had two interceptions in the preseason, but he also had a costly fumble on a kickoff return against Atlanta.
Pending CB Move: CB Aaron Colvin was placed on the reserve/suspended list and will miss the first four games by serving a suspension for a violation of the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. So the Jaguars needed to keep another nickelback. That was Dwayne Gratz, who starting getting reps inside at nickelback in the spring. The question will be which defensive back gets cut when Colvin returns (Gratz, Johnson or someone else). Or, the Jaguars could opt to trim from another spot.
Jaguars moves: WR Arrelious Benn, G Mackenzy Bernadeau, LB Ryan Davis, OL Jacques McClendon, LB Thurston Armbrister, DT Richard Ash, DL T.J. Barnes, CB Brien Boddy-Calhoun, TE Braedon Bowman, OL Kadeem Edwards, S Josh Evans, WR Shaq Evans, OL Rashod Hill, DE Tyrone Holmes, WR Rashad Lawrence, CB Nick Marshall, LB Sean Porter, OL Pearce Slater, LB Jordan Tripp, WR Shane Wynn. The Jaguars also placed DT Michael Bennett (calf) on injured reserve and placed CB Aaron Colvin on the reserve/suspended list.