In addition to Jackson, the Jaguars also released safety Tashaun Gipson, running back Carlos Hyde, right tackle Jermey Parnell and long snapper Carson Tinker. The moves were made, in part, to create salary-cap space to sign a veteran quarterback, expected to be Nick Foles.
The Jaguars are expected to release quarterback Blake Bortles at some point in the coming weeks, though he is guaranteed to receive $6.5 million.
Jags CB Jalen Ramsey took to Twitter with his reaction to the moves.
Wow. This business side of things is crazy!— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) March 8, 2019
Jackson signed a six-year, $85.5 million contract, with $31.5 million fully guaranteed and $42 million in total guarantees, with the Jaguars in March 2016 after four seasons in Denver. He set a career high with 6.5 sacks in 2016 and followed that up with the best season of his career in 2017: 8.0 sacks and four forced fumbles, and his first Pro Bowl appearance.
However, he lost his starting job in November, and his play time decreased significantly over the final month of the season, when he was being used as a third-down rusher. Jackson said late in the season that he expected to be released this offseason. The move clears up $11 million in cap space. Jackson was due to make $13 million and count $15 million against the salary cap in 2019.
Jackson, who turned 29 in January, never missed a game in his four seasons with the Jaguars and only two in his entire seven-year career. He has 32.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries, including 18 sacks and four forced fumbles in three seasons with the Jaguars.
Cutting Hyde saves the Jaguars $4.7 million. He was due to have $2 million of his $3.25 million base salary guaranteed, as well as receive a $1 million roster bonus if he was still with the Jaguars on March 15.
The Jaguars sent a fifth-round draft pick to the Browns on Oct. 20 in exchange for Hyde because they needed help, with Leonard Fournette nursing a hamstring injury that would eventually keep him out for six games. Hyde ran for 189 yards on 58 carries in eight games with the Jaguars.
Gipson was due a $500,000 roster bonus on March 17 and had a salary of $7.25 million in 2019. There is no dead money on his contract now, and his release saves the team $7.45 million. Gipson had two years remaining on the five-year, $36 million contract, with $12 million he signed in March 2016.
Gipson has started every game since joining the Jaguars and has six interceptions and 16 pass breakups in 48 games. He has 20 interceptions and 39 pass breakups in seven seasons. He played four years in Cleveland after joining the Browns as an undrafted free agent in 2012.
Parnell was entering the final year of the five-year, $32 million contract and was due a $1 million roster bonus on March 17. Parnell was due to make $5 million in 2019, and the move saves the Jaguars $6 million against the salary cap.
Parnell, who turns 33 in July, has started all 57 games in which he played with the Jaguars from 2015 to 2018. He missed one game in 2015, three in 2017, and three in 2018 because of knee injuries.
Tinker's release saves the Jaguars $835,000, and he was made expendable when the team signed long snapper Matt Overton on Thursday.