Breaking News
More () »

Jaguars have a few days to make decisions on three impending restricted free agents

While Jacksonville's unrestricted free agent group has deservedly garnered a lot of attention, the Jaguars could also be impacted by players who are set to face the restricted market as well.

The Jaguars have until Wednesday to make decisions on three restricted free agents.

While Jacksonville's unrestricted free agent group has deservedly garnered a lot of attention, the Jaguars could also be impacted by players who are set to face the restricted market as well.

Safety Peyton Thompson and running backs Corey Grant and Tyler Gaffney are set to hit restricted free agency. The team has until Wednesday to extend tenders to the trio.

The Jaguars can offer first, second and original-round tenders to restricted free agents. If the player is signed to an offer sheet by another team, the Jaguars will have the opportunity to match the contract and keep the player. If the Jaguars decline to match an offer sheet, Jacksonville will be compensated with the opposing team's draft pick that fits the designation.

The Jaguars will receive a five-day window to match or decline any offer sheet given to a restricted free agent.

DOWNLOAD: The free First Coast Football App for Jaguars stats, scores, analysis, stories and more

If the Jaguars pass on an original-round tender for a former undrafted free agent, Jacksonville will not be compensated.

If Jacksonville fails to extend a tender to a restricted free agent, he would then become unrestricted, which would allow him to sign anywhere immediately.

Here's a look at all three of the Jaguars' impending restricted free agents:

Corey Grant

Position: RB

How Acquired: UDFA in 2015

Jaguars Career Stats: 414 rushing yards and four total touchdowns

Thoughts: Grant is the marquee name for this trio (if there is one). He is the team's starting kick returner and best special teams player. He is also a dynamic gadget weapon who can score from anywhere on the field. His unrivaled speed has helped the Jaguars develop a dangerous punt-fake threat under special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis.

Grant was spotlighted during the first half of the Jaguars' AFC Championship Game loss to the New England Patriots. He produced 59 receiving yards during that game. Outside of that performance, Grant has been used sparingly on offense.

The Jaguars are likely to tender Grant, even if it's at the "right of first refusal' level. However, Grant is the one member of this trio who may warrant a higher designation. It wouldn't be far-fetched to predict that Grant could receive a second-round tender. The second-round tender is worth $2.914 million this season.

Peyton Thompson

Position: FS

How Acquired: Signed to the practice squad in 2014

Jaguars Career Stats: 39 tackles (lead team in special teams tackles in 2016)

Thoughts: Thompson - as noted above - led the Jaguars with nine special teams tackles in 2016. This past season, his role in the game's third phase changed, as did his production. Thompson's value isn't limited to special teams, as he can play all five positions in the secondary. His presence allows the Jaguars to go light on cornerbacks for the game-day roster.

The Jaguars don't have an in-house replacement for Thompson at free safety but could look to add that player during the offseason. Realistically, no one has solid depth at safety in the NFL. However, the Jaguars could look to upgrade the group in free agency or the draft.

Thompson may not receive a tender but still could get a new cheap deal to stay. If anything, he will probably receive an original-round tender which would allow the Jaguars to have the "right of first refusal" on an offer sheet. With that tender, they wouldn't receive compensation if they passed on matching the offer.

Tyler Gaffney

Position: RB

How Acquired: Signed as a free agent during 2017 training camp

Jaguars Career Stats: N/A

Thoughts: Gaffney was signed as an injury replacement in training camp this past year and lasted just a few days on the active offseason roster. Gaffney suffered a concussion during practice and was placed on injured reserve. He spent the entire year on injured reserve and has yet to play in an NFL game, despite being a 2014 sixth-round pick. He is unlikely to receive a tender from Jacksonville.

Along with the three impending restricted free agents, the Jaguars have three exclusive-rights free agents. Tight end Ben Koyack, wide receiver Shane Wynn and offensive tackle William Poehls are only allowed to negotiate a new contract with the Jaguars this offseason.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out