JACKSONVILLE – He didn't want to release Jeremy Mincey. Not really.
But Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said when it came to waiving the veteran defensive lineman, it just felt like something that needed to be done – and done immediately.
Mincey was released Friday morning.
Mincey, a six-year veteran tackle/end, missed two games recently after oversleeping and missing a team meeting, not traveling to the team's victory over Houston November 24, then watching from the sidelines during a victory over Cleveland December 1.
Bradley said he and General Manager David Caldwell each spoke to Mincey Friday morning.
"It just felt like it was time to move forward," Bradley said. "It wasn't one particular thing that caused the reaction. I think it was just a combination of things."
Asked if he felt it was important to make the move now rather than the end of the season, Bradley replied: "Yes, I did not think it could wait."
Mincey, a sixth-round selection from Florida by the New England Patriots in the 2006 NFL Draft, signed with the Jaguars off the San Francisco 49ers' practice squad later that season. He played nine games for the Jaguars in 2007 and 2008, did not play after being waived/injured in 2009, and then played 55 games over the past four seasons.
He started all 16 games in 2011 and 2012, leading the team with a career-high eight sacks in 2011.
He played eight games as a reserve tackle/end this season.
"Whatever Gus chooses to do, I feel like has the team's best wishes at heart," Jaguars defensive tackle Roy Miller said. "It's an unfortunate situation. You never know what's going on with his (Mincey's) life and what he's going through. I wish him the best. I know he has a lot of talent. Hopefully, he can get with another team."
Mincey had said following his two-game absence a new baby and a new business had distracted him.
"It's a tough situation," Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew said. "It's something the coaches and Gus said he felt he had to do. Obviously I've been around Mincey (a long time). We actually trained together coming out (of college in 2006), so we're close.
"The way Gus has treated everybody here, it was the best for him to make the decision he felt. We'll stick with Gus on that."
Bradley said he was glad he opted to give Mincey another opportunity three weeks ago rather than release him, "because that's what my heart felt at the time."
"In our conversations, I enjoyed Jeremy Mincey," he said. "I enjoyed visiting with him but I think at this point and time for the organization and for him we need to go in this direction….
"Jeremy's a good football player, good person and I enjoyed my conversation with him today and I can't thank him enough for what he's done for this organization and his contribution, but we just felt like it was time to make this decision."
Bradley said the conversation and decision were difficult, and that it didn't involve trying to get younger players playing time.
"I think it was just how important it is to pay attention to details, do the right things," Bradley said. "I guess if it was any statement we were trying to do everything we could to help him and get going in the right direction. I think the players felt that part of it…
"I think they trust we're trying to do the right things and we just felt like that was the right thing for the organization."