Earlier today, the Jacksonville Jaguars released veteran defensive end Jared Odrick, per his agent.
Odrick, 29, was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015 to a large five-year, $42.5 million deal with $22 million guaranteed, so by cutting him they’ll save $8.5 million. It made sense for them to make that move, especially since he missed ten games last year due to injury. In 2015, however, he started all 16 games and led the Jaguars in sacks with 5.5. Originally a first round pick in 2010 by the Dolphins, Odrick has spent seven seasons in the NFL and has played in 87 games (starting 63) and has recorded 170 tackles, 23 sacks, five forced fumbles, 15 passes defensed, and an interception.
It seems quite clear that Odrick was released primarily for salary cap purposes in Jacksonville, as coming off of injury he’s not worth the large cap number he was going to have.
So it poses the question that seems to come with every veteran released in the offseason: should the Colts be interested in Jared Odrick?
He’s a free agent and is free to sign anywhere immediately, though based on the picture he posted on Instagram today it doesn’t look like he’s exactly in a hurry. The Colts actually pursued Odrick in 2015 before he ultimately signed with the Jaguars. So while a lot has changed since then - there’s now a new regime running things in Indianapolis - it’s possible that Chuck Pagano and company still see Odrick as a fit for their defense. They have a guy in-house who coached Odrick for three years, too, in Joe Philbin, who was the head coach of the Dolphins for Odrick's final three seasons with the team. So Philbin would figure to have some insight into the defensive end as well.
Odrick brings a lot of versatility up front and seems best-suited to be a 3-4 defensive end. That’s not exactly the biggest area of need for the Colts this offseason, but Chris Ballard has emphasized the trenches and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him try to shore up the defensive line somewhat. In that case, Odrick actually might be a guy worth taking a chance on and adding to the mix up front defensively. Especially for a team desperate for pass rush help, adding someone like Odrick who can get after the quarterback might provide some semblance of that along the defensive line.
Of course, there’s always the potential objections of age (though he’s only 29), health (he’s coming off of an injury-plagued season), and effectiveness (is his talent and production worth the cost). There are no sure things in free agency, but Odrick would be a guy that the Colts would be wise to at least take a look at if he doesn't cost too much. They had interest in him a couple of years ago, and with Chris Ballard’s emphasis on the trenches, adding a guy like Odrick to provide some more depth and versatility to the group might be a wise thing to consider.