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Free-Agent Setup: Five Jaguars starters among potential UFAs

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The Sports Xchange
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson (15) runs against the Baltimore Ravens defense in the second quarter on November 15, 2015 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson (15) runs against the Baltimore Ravens defense in the second quarter on November 15, 2015 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

The Jacksonville Jaguars have nine unrestricted free agents they must make a decision on in the next couple of weeks.

Five of the nine were starters last season, including wide receiver Allen Robinson who only started one game after suffering a torn ACL on the first offensive possession of the season.

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His rehab has gone well, but the Jaguars may be hesitant to give him a lucrative new deal without knowing if Robinson will be able to play without restriction. That makes him an ideal candidate for a franchise tag, the only player among the nine UFAs the Jaguars will consider for that.

It would be a one-year contract worth close to $16 million that is fully guaranteed upon signing.

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Wide receiver Marqise Lee is also unrestricted and likely won't be retained. Allen Hurns signed a four-year deal a year ago, but continues to be hampered with injuries and may not be worthy of his $10 million per year deal.

In addition to likely allowing Lee to move on, the same is likely to happen to cornerback Aaron Colvin. The Jaguars would like to retain him as he played a key role as the nickel back. But Colvin is looking for big money as a starting corner and that won't happen in Jacksonville with the Jaguars owning two of the league's best in Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye.

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Guard Patrick Omameh started 13 games and improved his play last year but whether it was enough to warrant the type of contract he's looking for remains to be seen.

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Middle linebacker Paul Posluszny saw his role diminish last year and was pulled when the Jaguars went with a nickel back. After leading the team in tackles five of the previous six seasons with at least 133 tackles each year, Posluszny only recorded 60 tackles in 2017. He's a great leader and immensely liked by his teammates. That could lead to the Jaguars retaining him, but at a reduction from his 2017 contract.

None of the other four UFA players are musts to retain.

Quarterback Chad Henne was Blake Bortles' backup for the past four years and played in just three games over the past three seasons. Linebacker Larentee McCray and free safety Peyton Thompson played in 13 and 10 games, respectively, in backup roles only. The Jaguars like both and will likely try to re-sign them. Long snapper Matt Overton was a mid-season replacement for the injured Carson Tinker, but then suffered a season-ending injury himself. He won't return as Tinker will regain his role.

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Unit-by-unit depth chart as of Super Bowl LII. Injured players listed as starters if that was their status when injured.

*Asterisk indicates player ended 2017 season on injured reserve.

QUARTERBACKS (B): Starter - Blake Bortles. Backup - Chad Henne (UFA).

RUNNING BACKS (A-minus): Starters - Leonard Fournette, FB Tommy Bohanon. Backups - T.J. Yeldon, Chris Ivory (subsequently released), Corey Grant, *Tyler Gaffney, *I'Tavius Mathers (subsequently released).

TIGHT ENDS (D): Starter - Marcedes Lewis. Backups - Ben Koyack, James O'Shaughnessy, *Mychal Rivera.

WIDE RECEIVERS (C): Starters - *Allen Robinson (UFA), Marqise Lee (UFA). Backups - Keelan Cole, Allen Hurns, Jaydon Mickens, Dede Westbrook, *Jaelen Strong, *Rashad Greene Sr., *Shane Wynn, *Arrelious Benn, *Larry Pinkard (subsequently released).

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (C-minus): Starters - LT Cam Robinson, LG Patrick Omameh (UFA), C Brad Linder, RG A.J. Cann, RT Jermey Parnell. Backups - T Josh Wells, G/C Tyler Shatley, T Josh Walker, T William Poehls, G Chris Reed.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (A): Starters -- DLE Yannick Ngakoue, DT Malik Jackson, NT Abry Jones, DRE Calais Campbell. Backups - DE Dante Fowler Jr., DE Carroll Phillips, DE Dawuane Smoot, NT Marcell Dareus, DT Eli Ankou, DT *Michael Bennett.

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LINEBACKERS (B-plus): Starters - WLB Telvin Smith, MLB Paul Posluszny (UFA), SLB Myles Jack. Backups - MLB Blair Brown, MLB Donald Payne, SLB Lerentee McCray (UFA), LB Deon King.

DEFENSIVE BACKS (A): Starters -- LCB Jalen Ramsey, RCB A.J. Bouye, SS Barry Church, FS Tashaun Gipson. Backups - LCB Tyler Patmon, RCB Aaron Colvin (UFA), SS Jarrod Wilson, FS Peyton Thompson, RCB Jalen Myrick, S *Jarrod Harper (subsequently released).

SPECIAL TEAMS (C): K Josh Lambo, P Brad Nortman, LS *Matt Overton (UFA), LS Colin Holba, KOR Corey Grant, PR Dede Westbrook, KOR/PR Keelan Cole, PR Marqise Lee, *LS Carson Tinker.

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