Jaguars decline 5th-year option on struggling DT Taven Bryan

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville declined to pick up the fifth-year option in defensive tackle Taven Bryan’s rookie contract, meaning 2021 likely will be his final year with the Jaguars.

NFL teams had until Monday to decide whether to exercise fifth-year options on 2018 first-round picks.

The 29th overall selection from Florida that year, Bryan has played in every game in three seasons. But he has just 11 tackles for loss, including 3 1/2 sacks. He finished with a career-low 18 tackles and half a sack in 2020 while counting $2.77 million against salary cap.

He would have cost the Jaguars $7.68 million in 2022, assuming he made the team.

Jacksonville chose USC’s Jay Tufele to open the fourth round of the draft Saturday and signed fellow defensive tackle Roy Robertson-Harris to a three-year, $23.4 million deal in free agency. Despite those moves, first-year Jaguars coach Urban Meyer said the team was not considering parting ways with Bryan.

“We want him here,” said Meyer, who’s been adamant that it’s up to coaches to get more from underperforming players.

Bryan is scheduled to count $3.23 million against the salary cap in 2021. He would still cost the Jags $2.07 million if they cut him and $1.37 million if they trade him.

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