Jaguars claim linebacker off waivers, cut veteran defensive end Adam Gotsis

·2 min read

The Jacksonville Jaguars continued their roster formation on Thursday, claiming second-year linebacker Caleb Johnson off waivers from the Chicago Bears, and releasing veteran defensive end Adam Gotsis. These moves mark a shift in the Jaguars’ 2022 strategy, especially after the release of a player like Gotsis, who had been a solid backup for the team since 2020.

Johnson is a gritty prospect who made a few plays for the Bears last season but is largely unproven heading into his second year in the NFL. He joins an elite linebacker corps in Jacksonville that has the potential to be one of the league’s best defensive units. He’ll be a long shot to see any significant action in Duval County this season but could play a factor for the Jaguars if injuries come to haunt the team this season.

Meanwhile, the veteran Gotsis was a second-round pick in the 2016 draft and was once considered a blue chip prospect as a member of the Denver Broncos before signing with Jacksonville in 2020. The former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket started 14 games for the Jaguars in his first year with the team but his usage saw a steep decline last season. He managed to register three sacks in his 2021 campaign, but only served as a starter in four games.

It is likely that Gotsis will catch on with another team before the regular season kicks off, but whether he’ll get the opportunity to see the field will be highly dependent on the situation he finds himself in. If his contract couldn’t be justified by general manager Trent Baalke in Jacksonville, Gotsis’ talent may not be enough to push for a significant role elsewhere.

For the Jaguars, though, these moves make sense. The team is leaning into their strength at linebacker and is set to find a replacement for Gotsis who they think might be able to out-produce him this season. Who that replacement might be is unclear, but with any luck, Jacksonville will find a capable young backup in the pool of talent that is currently available as teams around the NFL cull their rosters.

 

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire