At Draft Rite, we are all about covering the NFL from a roster-building perspective. We consider ourselves to be your home of the NFL offseason. Team building is such a fascinating subject, and the NFL invests millions of dollars into the people who put everything together every year.
It’s an inexact science. The league is constantly evolving and changing to match the new schemes and strategies designed by coaches and front-office executives. Roster building is such a careful craft. With only 53 spots available (45 activated on game day), teams have to be very careful with the people that they keep and the ones that they let go.
Prospects and the draft are only a small part of the NFL offseason. There is more to it, such as the veterans who have been in the league for a while and understand the ropes.
Every day, Tuesday through Saturday, I will be giving you a report on what teams across the NFL have done officially, and try to give you some insight into what that can mean for them and the rest of the league.
Jacksonville Jaguars sign LB Aaron Lynch
The Jacksonville Jaguars are signing themselves a versatile weapon for their defensive front. He can play upright, he can play down, and he was used anywhere from a nine-tech to a three-tech. Lynch was a fifth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, selected by the San Francisco 49ers. He spent four years there, and the last two with the Chicago Bears.
The Bears used him as a rotational piece along their front-five. Lynch is a very long athlete, at 6’5″ and 285 pounds, he’s capable of playing anywhere along the front. His versatility will be very much welcomed in Jacksonville. Let’s take a quick look at the Jaguars depth chart.
DE: Josh Allen / Al Woods
DT: Taven Bryant / Rodney Gunter / Carl Davis
NT: Abry Jones / Davon Hamilton (R) / Dontavious Russell
DE: Yannick Ngakoue / Dawuane Smoot / Cassius Marsh
Right now, the Jaguars are preparing to move on without star defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, who has demanded a trade and refuses to play for the organization. If he does indeed leave, that will put Dawuane Smoot or Al Woods in a position to take his place.
Plus, factor in the new strongside linebacker taken twentieth overall (K’Lavon Chaisson), you need some depth at the linebacker spot. Undoubtedly, the Jaguars plan to use Chaisson much like the Bears use Khalil Mack. Funny, because the snaps that Mack wasn’t on the field, it was usually Aaron Lynch who was in his place.
The only downside is that Lynch isn’t powerful enough against stronger offensive linemen to pressure them on 1v1’s, and he’s got a serious problem where he jumps offsides a lot. Other then that, Lynch offers serious depth.
This is a very good pick-up by the Jaguars, and really gets them the depth that they need on this team. Lynch isn’t a shoe-in to make the roster, but his versatility is what I believe teams will find valuable about him.
New York Jets place WR Quincy Enunwa and WR Josh Bellamy on the PUP
These moves hurt Jets’ fans who know about this cap nightmare that the team has itself in. Quincy Enunwa and Josh Bellamy will both not perform in the 2020 season, being placed on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list.
Bellamy doesn’t hurt as much. He didn’t play much last year with the Jets, appearing briefly in just seven games. He had found a home in Chicago as a reserve receiver for about five seasons, and the Jets were hoping to play him in the same role when they signed him last season. Injuries have been too much for him, and apparently his shoulder issue that put him on the injured reserve in November will hold him out of the 2020 season.
Enunwa though is another situation. He’s dealing with a neck issue, known as spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces within your spine, which can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine. After his breakout 2018 season, Enunwa signed a four-year, $36 million contract extension. The bad thing about this? He’s so far played one game of that contract, and he’s guaranteed $6 million this season, and we don’t know if he’s going to ever play football again.
We certainly wish Enunwa the very best in his recovery and we hope that he can play the game again. It’s a dangerous situation for him and his health, and we hope and pray for the best results for him and his family.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-sign OT Josh Wells
Josh Wells played in 13 games with the Buccaneers last season, starting in two, one at left tackle and one at right tackle. Previously, he was a reserve tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He’s an average tackle who has the versatility to play on either side and be a blocker on special teams. He worked well for Tampa Bay last year, so it makes a lot of sense to bring him back this year.
NFL Transactions Report
- 49ers declined the fifth-year option of DE Solomon Thomas.
- Bears declined the fifth-year option of QB Mitchell Trubisky.
- Bengals declined the fifth-year option of WR John Ross.
- Broncos declined the fifth-year option of OT Garett Bolles.
- Buccaneers re-signed OT Josh Wells.
- Cardinals declined the fifth-year option of LB Haason Reddick.
- Colts declined the fifth-year option of FS Malik Hooker.
- Falcons declined the fifth-year options of DE Charles Harris and DE Takkarist McKinley.
- Giants waived WR Reggie White Jr.
- Jaguars declined the fifth-year option of RB Leonard Fournette and signed LB Aaron Lynch.
- Jets waived RB Jalin Moore, WR Keon Hatcher, DE Charles Tapper, and CB Kyron Brown, and placed WR Josh Bellamy and WR Quincy Enunwa on the Reserve/PUP List.
- Lions declined the fifth-year option of LB Jarrad Davis.
- Redskins declined the fifth-year option of LB Reuben Foster.
- Texans declined the fifth-year option of CB Gareon Conley.
- Titans declined the fifth-year option of WR Corey Davis.