Jaguars make first cuts on defense, parting with safety Rudy Ford

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With the Jacksonville Jaguars roster cuts in full effect on Monday morning, the team has parted with several fan-favorite players who looked like they might contribute to the team’s 2022 redemption tour. The latest casualty was safety Rudy Ford, whose release was first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Twitter just after noon.

According to Rapoport’s report, teams tried trading for Ford before his release. His cap number made a deal untenable unless Jacksonville committed to taking on a part of his salary for this season. Ford has been a consistent contributor for the Jaguars since joining the team last year.

He was originally drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2017 draft out of Auburn and played in Phoenix until 2019 when he joined the Philadelphia Eagles. His time in Philly was uneventful, as he spent most of the stint on injured reserve.

Since joining Jacksonville last season, Ford looked to have come into his own, especially on special teams where he played a key role. The revelation of rookie Josh Thompson as a gunner on the punt unit may have cost Ford his job with this move, as the first-year prospect made one of the best plays of Jacksonville’s preseason on a near-touchback tipped punt against Pittsburgh.

Ford will be a hot commodity for teams looking for help on special teams, and may even find himself back in Duval County as a member of the practice squad if he doesn’t gain traction elsewhere. Special teams ability is a coveted skill for players who would otherwise be buried on the depth chart, so Ford is likely to catch on with a team that is in need of a free-agent addition to beef up their punt coverage team.

While Jacksonville would much prefer to keep every player on the roster that can help them win games, cuts like this are part of the business of football and a necessary evil for a team in rebuild mode.

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire