Last offseason, the Jacksonville Jaguars signed Aaron Ross to an unwise three-year deal worth $9.75 million, which could set the precedent for deals for impending free agent nickel corners like Kyle Arrington of the New England Patriots. But now that Ross has been released by the Jaguars, it could also be a wake-up call to other teams about signing unproven CBs to significant deals, even if that team has a big need at the position.
The Florida Times Union listed Ross as a candidate for release multiple times, and Ryan O’Halloran reported the news of Ross’s release today. The Jaguars also released safety Dawan Landry earlier today, who was also ineffective after signing a deal with the Jaguars a couple of offseasons ago. However, Landry was better than Ross.
The Jaguars will be busy this offseason trying to sign a cornerback, and it will be interesting to see who they target. Veterans Rashean Mathis and Aaron Ross are gone, and the Jags might not be able to keep top CB Derek Cox. They will try as hard as possible to keep their best man in the secondary, and Cox’s importance to the Jaguars has greatly increased as a result of the move to cut Ross. In fact, the Jaguars have just two cornerbacks under contract, and they are both unproven commodities.
Ross’s release comes as no surprise, as he was benched multiple times with his permanent benching coming after Week 13. In total, Ross started in just nine games, and he had a poor year by every indicator. According to the Pro Football Focus, Ross allowed a putrid 109.4 QB Rating and allowed 67.8% of all passes thrown at him to be completed.
Although releasing Ross hurts the Jacksonville Jaguars depth at cornerback, Ross was more of a problem than the solution. The fact that he was getting paid a significant chunk of money to allow a QB Rating over 100 and get benched after Week 13 shows that Ross deserved to be cut. Credit the Jaguars new regime for making the move and moving on from an ineffective player.
Unfortunately for the Jaguars, Derek Cox is expected to hit the free agent market, but the Jags still have hope that they can keep one of their best players. For now, the Jaguars will look at prospective free agents at the cornerback position this offseason, and they will almost certainly sign somebody of significance. But this time, they will be careful to not overpay a subpar player.
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