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Cap keeping Jags powerless




The repercussions of the Jaguars' salary cap situation continue to intensify. Linebacker Brant Boyer, who the Jaguars hoped to re-sign, has agreed to a contract with AFC Central Division rival Cleveland.

Boyer was one of 15 players cut in the final days leading up to the March 2 salary cap deadline. Immediately, the Jaguars said they would negotiate to re-sign Boyer and three other players they released: offensive tackle Leon Searcy, backup quarterback Jamie Martin and tight end/long-snapper Rich Griffith.

Searcy is thought to be close to signing with division rival Baltimore, Martin will visit Indianapolis, and Griffith was to meet with the New York Jets today. Add to that group six unrestricted free agents: safety Mike Logan, punter Bryan Barker, offensive tackle Todd Fordham, fullback Daimon Shelton, center Jeff Smith and running back Anthony Johnson.

At 48 players on their roster, the fewest since after the expansion draft in 1995, the Jaguars are just $149,000 under the salary cap and won't have any room to sign new players until they negotiate a new contract for quarterback Mark Brunell.

This morning, Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver told he will meet with Brunell on Tuesday, with the hope a face-to-face conversation will be a springboard to finalizing a new deal this week.

Boyer signed a three-year deal with the Jaguars in 1999. There remains $91,600 of amortized signing bonus the Jaguars must realize on their 2001 salary cap.

If Searcy signs with another team, he will be a $2.3 million hit on the Jaguars' salary cap this season. The Jaguars want to negotiate with Searcy for a new contract that would reduce his cap hit in 2001. They may not get the chance.

Martin and Griffith have minor amortizations remaining. Martin would be a $60,000 hit and Griffith would be $30,000.

The Jaguars also want to do a new deal with linebacker Kevin Hardy, who has one year remaining on his contract. Hardy would be a $4.5 million cap hit this season and the Jaguars want to lower that number in a new contract, however, Weaver said nothing can be done with Hardy until Brunell's situation is finalized.

Guard Brenden Stai, who the Jaguars cut on March 1 and were not interested in re-signing, has signed with Detroit. He became the first of the 15 players cut by the Jaguars to sign with another team.

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