JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Whenever a head coach is fired, players always experience a level of uneasiness.
Who will get the job? What kind of offensive or defensive system will he install? Do I fit in that system? How will the new coach view me? As a key piece or expendable?
Linebacker Paul Posluszny is experiencing that now.
Despite the fact he’s leading the team in tackles (again) and has played some of the best football of his career, Posluszny isn’t sure if he’ll be back with the Jaguars even though he’s under contract through the 2017 season.
"I want to play these last two games as hard as I can knowing that I may not have a future here," Posluszny said. "You take it one game at a time and say, ‘I’m going to devote everything that I can to these last two games because this might be the last opportunity I get.’"
Posluszny is the franchise’s second-leading tackler (904) behind Daryl Smith (1,089). Smith recorded that total in nine years while Posluszny is wrapping up his sixth season with the club. He has led the Jaguars in tackles in four of his first five seasons. The only time he didn’t was because he missed nine games with a pectoral injury.
The Jaguars drafted Myles Jack in the second round earlier this year and planned on him playing on third down instead of Posluszny, but Posluszny has played so well this season that the Jaguars have had to move Jack to strongside linebacker just so he could get on the field.
Posluszny, who turned 32 in October, signed a six-year, $45 million contract with the Jaguars in 2011 that called for him to earn $7.5 million in base salary in 2015 and 2016. He restructured his deal in April 2015 and added an additional year, which allowed the team to reduce his cap number in 2015 ($9.5 million) and this season ($7.5 million).
Posluszny was paid a $3.95 million base salary last season and this season and is scheduled to earn the same in 2017. However, he also is due a $500,000 roster bonus on the fifth day of the 2017 league year (which begins in March) and will earn a $31,250 bonus for each game he’s on the active roster up to $500,000.