2. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars probably should have followed the firing of Tom Coughlin by moving on from head coach Doug Marrone and general manager David Caldwell. But the coach and GM are getting one more year, likely a make-or-break year, with what owner Shad Kahn optimistically called an “embarrassment of riches” at quarterback.
An injury derailed Nick Foles’ first season with the Jaguars, which opened the door for Gardner Minshew to become a folk hero and show some real promise as a rookie. Jacksonville is proverbially married to Foles and his bloated contract, for which he’ll likely reward them with no better than average play. Assuming he can beat out Minshew, of course.
The Jaguars are cap-strapped right now, with cuts and/or restructures needed to even get under the number. Moving on from Foles in any fashion will be especially odorous this year in terms of dead money, but a restructure of his contract could alter that picture, and a team with ample cap space (the Colts?) could take on Foles’ cap hit in a trade to open the door to other options in Jacksonville.
Dalton’s tie to Jacksonville is new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, who was Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator from 2011-13. Dalton’s two best touchdown pass totals came with Gruden calling the plays (27 in 2012, 33 in 2013), with his career-best yardage total (4,293) in 2013.
The moving parts for the Jaguars are difficult, but not necessarily impossible, if they have any machinations to swap Foles out for a different veteran quarterback. Never say never here, and Dalton may have an eye (realistic or not at this point) on a reunion with Gruden.