The Jaguars are set to keep Julius Thomas into Year 3 of his five-year contract.
Thomas’s five-year, $46 million contract contains a provision that $3 million of his 2017 base salary became guaranteed if he was still on the roster on the fifth day after the Super Bowl. That day has passed with Thomas still on the roster, so he’s getting the guaranteed money.
There was some talk that the Jaguars could release Thomas this week to avoid that guarantee. After signing with the Jaguars in 2015 Thomas had a disappointing season, with 46 catches for 455 yards, and an even more disappointing second season, with 30 catches for 281 yards. The Jaguars could have decided to cut bait, especially if new front office boss Tom Coughlin wasn’t a believer in Thomas.
But by guaranteeing the $3 million, the Jaguars have virtually guaranteed that he’ll be on the roster and earn his whole $7 million salary in 2017: You don’t guarantee a guy $3 million if you’re not sure he’s going to be on your roster.
Now the Jaguars have to hope Thomas can start to look more like the player they signed away from the Broncos, and less like the player of the last two seasons.