In this segment, we are going to look at some of the players that didn't produce as well as the Jaguars would've hoped in 2007, and what to expect in 2008.
When a team is as successful as the Jaguars were in 2007, there aren't many players that underperform in terms of salary. The key for any NFL team to stay successful is to keep that philosophy and have every player on your roster performing to the expectations of their contract.
1. Defensive end Reggie Hayward-
Reggie Hayward was trying to come back from a partially ruptured Achilles tendon and was clearly not the player he was prior to the injury. Hayward lacked explosion off the line and finished with just 18 tackles and 3.5 sacks while playing just 12 games. Hayward is still earning from the free agent deal he signed with the Jaguars prior to the 2005 season and accounted for a cap hit of approximately $3.25 million in 2007.
What about next year? Hayward is due a salary of $3.5 million and he has remaining amortization of approximately $1.5 million. If Hayward's legs can't respond in camp he could be a cap casualty.
2. Defensive end Bobby McCray-
Bobby McCray spent last offseason complaining about his high tender that the Jaguars placed on him, and wanted the team to give him a long-term deal or cut him loose. The Jaguars did neither and it was the right move. McCray all but disappeared in 2007, accounting for just 18 tackles and 3 sacks in a contract year. McCray earned $1.85 million in 2007 for his efforts.
What about next year? McCray is an unrestricted free agent and it's not likely he'll be back in Jacksonville.
3. Wide receiver Dennis Northcutt-
Dennis Northcutt has never been a number one receiver, and the expectations of him being one were a bit out of line. That said, Northcutt was paid a lot of money (approximately $3.5 million cap hit) to make big catches, and he made a big drop in the Jaguars biggest game which turned out to be their last. Northcutt is a solid receiver, but they won't win if he's their best receiver.
What about next year? Northcutt is due nearly $4 million with his salary and option bonus. It's probable that he'll be back, but far from guaranteed.
4. Linebacker Mike Peterson-
Mike Peterson missed significant time again with a broken wrist in 2007. With the Jaguars selection of Justin Durant in last April's draft, and as well as Durant played, Peterson may be on the way out. Mike Peterson earned $3.8 million in 2007, and had a cap hit of more than $4.1 million.
What about next year? Peterson is due approximately $4.6 million between his salary and roster bonus. Peterson's injuries were all above the waist, so that's a good thing, but he may need to adjust that salary number.
It's not out of the realm of possibility that the Jaguars end up retaining each of the four players mentioned, as well as defensive tackle Marcus Stroud, who was hurt for much of 2007 and is due a $5 million salary in 2008. Each of these players didn't perform up to their numbers in 2007, and most of their numbers get worse in 2008. Each may need to take a cut in salary to remain with the team, but nothing is written in stone just yet.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of JagNation.com
, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustrated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE-
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