The fact the Jacksonville Jaguars are still working on defining their roster is a sign there is more work to be done.
After cutting players on Friday to get the team roster down to 53 players, general manager David Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley cut seven more players and added seven free agents to help with depth and special teams.
But regardless of the comments made by Caldwell in regard to the release of rookie free agent Lonnie Pryor, there are no frills this team can afford to part with and no player should be considered a “luxury.”
According to sportsmole.co.uk, Caldwell said in reference to Pryor’s release, “"That was a tough one. We had a lot of discussions with that. Very few teams carry two fullbacks and Lonnie was a little bit of a luxury."
The Jaguars were 2-14 last season and are still searching for a identity. A 1-3 preseason record, a starting quarterback who missed the final two preseason games and a stud receiver who will sit out the first four games of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy does not help put this franchise on solid footing.
Bradley and Caldwell have done a great deal to change the culture of the franchise and make football relevant again in the NFL. But honestly, there were and are so many holes that still need to be filled, that releasing players is one thing, having the “luxury” to do it is another.
The Jaguars opened training camp with a herd of runners to work through. At the head of the class is Maurice Jones-Drew, followed by interchangeable parts like Justin Forsett, Jordan Todman and fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou. Pryor would have been a strong addition on special teams, the one thing this franchise signed seven free agents over the weekend to improve in week one of the NFL season. And while I hate to say it, Pryor, along with these seven free agent signings, are interchangeable on kickoff coverages.
As of yet, Pryor has not signed with another franchise.
Don’t get me wrong about this. This is not about Pryor, it is more about the position this team is in. It could be about any player off the roster. It is my opinion when you are starting from nothing and building the team back to respectability, you put the 53 best players on the roster and work with it. You put the eight players you want to develop on your practice squad and you work with it. There are no luxuries, no freebies and certainly, no gimmies in the NFL.
And for a franchise that needs every bit of effort it can get, making the case for luxury is a word that could have been used in a better context.