The closer we get to NFL free agency, which officially opens March 9, the more we're going to see teams unload players with over-burdensome contracts. The latest victim of such a conundrum is defensive lineman Jared Odrick, who was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday.
Odrick apparently received the phone call whilst on the beach.
This is me getting released by the @Jaguars @ Cabarete Beach
Because of Odrick's size and skill-set, he immediately popped up on the radar of John Elway and the Denver Broncos. At 6-foot-5 and 295 pounds, Odrick can play multiple spots along a defensive line, but projects well at the 5-tech defensive end spot in a 3-4 system, which Denver employs.
After signing a five-year, $42.5 million contract with the Jaguars two years ago, Jacksonville cut bait with Odrick, and will save $25.5 million on the salary cap over the next three years with zero dead money.
According to a league source, Mile High Huddle has learned that the Broncos have had internal discussions already about Odrick. Defensive line coach Bill Kollar is once again pounding the table, this time for a veteran.
Kollar notoriously influenced Denver's decision to select defensive end Adam Gotsis in the second round of the Draft last year. Kollar's opinions go a long way at Dove Valley.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1756285-film-room-adam-gotsis-ups... Although Odrick's first year in Jacksonville was productive, he suffered a shoulder injury in 2016 and was placed on injured reserve after only appearing in six games. He was selected with the No. 28 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins out of Ohio State.
Over his seven-year career, Odrick has appeared in 87 games, tallying 170 combined tackles (135 solo) and 23 sacks. As an interior player, the Broncos could do much worse.
However, at 29, Odrick's days of earning the max-level contract in the NFL are likely in the rear-view mirror. While there's always a chance some hapless, needy team will overpay for a former first rounder, Elway's Broncos will not.
But, if Odrick is willing to take less money to start and contribute on a stacked team, with a chance at the playoffs, Denver might sound good to him. He might be at a point in his career where winning takes precedent over money.
Any team interested in Odrick, including Denver, would have to feel good about his medicals. And be confident the shoulder injury that cost him most of the 2016 season is on the mend and on pace for him to contribute in 2017 and beyond.
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.