JACKSONVILLE – In the end, it partly came down to need and numbers.
That’s often the case when NFL teams make final 53-man roster decisions, and General Manager David Caldwell said that’s how it was as the Jaguars reduced their roster to meet Saturday’s 4 p.m. roster deadline.
“I think for us it came down to who is going to be active on game days,” Caldwell Saturday shortly after the team announced the release of wide receiver Kerry Taylor, linebacker Nate Stupar, cornerback Jamell Fleming and safety Sherrod Martin.
“We have some injuries at certain positions where we went heavy at.”
The moves put the Jaguars’ roster at 54. Teams had until 4 p.m. Saturday to reduce rosters to 53, with the Jaguars receiving a roster exemption for wide receiver
Teams may claim waived players and sign players to practice squads beginning Sunday.
Jaguars starting right tackle
But Caldwell said if injuries were a reason for keeping 10 offensive linemen, the team’s feelings about the four rookies were, too.
“We feel good about those four guys,” Caldwell said. “They (the four rookie linemen) are everything that we want out of them in this building. Not just on the field; they’re high-character guys, they love ball and they’re very passionate.”
The Jaguars on Friday had announced Shatley being released among 18 roster moves. Caldwell said the team planned to re-sign him to the practice squad but it became clear Friday night he would be claimed by another team if released.
“We just reversed course on it,” Caldwell said. “We just have too much feeling for him and we didn’t want to lose him. We thought about it and said, ‘Where our team is at right now being a young team, we see somebody with a lot of promise that played his ass off during the preseason …’
“We just said, ‘Let’s figure out a way,’ and we did.”
Caldwell said he and Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley discussed Shatley extensively with offensive line coach Luke Butkus.
“Luke was dire that he did not want to lose him,” Caldwell said.
Caldwell also noted the Jaguars kept 10 defensive linemen, a number that reflected the strong feeling about the players retained. The Jaguars as a result kept five wide receivers – a total that Caldwell called “about average” – and also kept two quarterbacks rather than three.
“We had to go short somewhere and it was really at quarterback,” Caldwell said, noting that the team will try to re-sign rookie quarterback Stephen Morris to the practice squad Sunday.
The Jaguars last year acquired seven players off waivers on the weekend following the preseason finale. Caldwell said he doesn’t anticipate such activity Sunday.
“We’re in the process of evaluating a lot of guys we expect to come free right now,” Caldwell said. “We’ve been doing it for the last 10 days with our pro scouting department. They’ve put together a really nice list. I would expect if the opportunity is there for us to improve our roster (signing) a guy here or a guy there, but not anything of the magnitude we did last year.”
Also on Saturday:
*Caldwell addressed the release Friday of center Mike Brewster, who started the first two preseason games. “I think maybe it was just the stress and anxiety, but he just didn’t perform to his best and left some opportunities on the field,” Caldwell said. “He’s a great kid and he’s going to play somewhere I think, and he’s going to get another opportunity.”
*The release of Brewster left Bowanko and veteran
*Caldwell addressed the preseason play of rookie quarterback
*Caldwell said the Jaguars have a plan for Bortles to develop as a backup. “He’ll definitely get all the two-reps, but he’ll also get a handful of reps with the ones each week, which most twos do anyways,” Caldwell said. “Off to the side, you’ll see him working with (quarterbacks coach) Frank (Scelfo), in some scout team periods where we’ll still develop him, post-practice we’ll still be developing him.” …
*Caldwell said the team could address punt returner on the waiver wire. The team placed wide receiver
*Caldwell said the Jaguars discussed placing Doss on the NFL’s injured reserve/designated to return list, but decided not to use the designation so early in the season. Teams can place one player per season on IR/designated to return, with the player allowed to return eight weeks later. To use the designation on Doss, the team would have had to carry him onto the 53-man regular-season roster. …
*Caldwell said the hope is that kicker
*Caldwell said he expects rookie wide receiver
*Caldwell said he isn’t overly concerned about the team’s youth at receiver. The Jaguars kept five receivers, including fourth-year veteran
*Caldwell discussed the play of fourth-year veteran
*Four free-agent rookies made the 53-man roster: Hurns, tight end