The math is simple. There's nothing new about it. Somebody gotta go. It's always been that way in NFL training camps.
Troy Edwards got an education in NFL training camp math two years ago. Somebody had to go in St. Louis. It turned out to be him.
Now, after two productive seasons in Jacksonville and armed with a new contract, Edwards is a little more secure in his football future, but not enough that he can ignore the math.
"Somebody gotta go. Hopefully it's not me," Edwards said as he left the field on Tuesday following a morning special teams practice.
Here's the math: The Jaguars have five returning wide receivers in Edwards, Jimmy Smith, Reggie Williams, Ernest Wilford and Cortez Hankton. They are joined by first-round draft choice Matt Jones and sixth-round pick Chad Owens, who has been the team's most impressive pass-catcher through the spring and into the summer. That's seven guys for four, maybe five spots. If Owens makes the team as a kick-return specialist and if Jack Del Rio decided to max out on his roster with five wide receivers, well, as you can see, somebody gotta go.
Who will it be? That's one of the burning questions in this training camp. How will Del Rio and personnel boss James Harris massage and ultimately decide the team's wide receiver head count?
"In my mind, I'll be here. I'm going to at least make the decision hard. I'm going to make it hard for them to do it," Edwards said.
Edwards was the team's number three wide receiver last season and it's suspected he's still number three in the team's official pecking order. We should see evidence of that this Saturday when the Jaguars open the preseason against the Miami Dolphins.
But Edwards is in his seventh year in the league and he knows that first-round picks usually don't end up as number four receivers. Reggie Williams was the ninth pick of the 2004 draft and Jones was the 21st pick of this year's draft and logic demands that Williams and Jones are the Jaguars' wide receivers of the long-term future.
Yeah, somebody gotta go, but it's not gonna be one of those two guys. Edwards can do the math.
"I haven't been getting the ball as much, but camp has been going good for me," he said. "Any receiver's day can come any day. The important thing is you have to stay ready. The coaches know what I'm capable of doing. I'm not afraid of competition."
Edwards' claim to fame in this training camp is that he may be the only wide receiver who hasn't dropped a pass in a camp full of drops.
"If I did, I'm not going to admit to it," he said. "Every year my goal is to be a starter. As long as we're winning, you won't hear any complaints from me."
The preseason will sort all of this out. The Jaguars' passing game has, for the most part, struggled in this training camp. Should it get hot in the preseason, the wide receivers who stimulate it are likely to secure spots on the team's final roster.
"The good thing is we're all good friends. We know it's going to come to that," Edwards said of the math. "The good thing is we don't have to cut each other."