Dallas Cowboys v Jacksonville Jaguars
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The Jacksonville Jaguars are getting ready to dole out some big-dollar contracts with the NFL's legal tampering period kicking off next week on March 11. 

They entered Tuesday with $29.2 million in cap space, according to OverThe Cap.com, and they are opening up even more room following the releases of two starters in their secondary: cornerback Darious Williams and safety Rayshawn Jenkins, according to NFL Media. These moves will open up a combined $16.648 million in additional room, also per OverTheCap.com, running Jacksonville's 2024 cap space up to around $45.9 million. 

Williams was set to enter the final season of a three-year, $30 million contract in 2024. He didn't have any guaranteed money left on his deal, so his release save the Jaguars $11.5 million against their 2024 cap. Similarly, Jenkins also was going to be playing out the final year of a four-year, $35 million pact in the upcoming season. He too didn't have any guaranteed salary remaining. 

Two of the Jaguars' top players, two-time Pro Bowl edge rusher Josh Allen and wide receiver Calvin Ridley, are set to become unrestricted free agents next week. Having close to $50 million in cap space will likely allow them the financial ability to re-sign both players. On Tuesday, the team reportedly placed the franchise tag on Allen, which will cost them $24 million against the cap.

The Jaguars releasing Williams may actually have been doing him a favor. The Super Bowl-winning cornerback (won Super Bowl LVI as a starter with the Los Angeles Rams) will hit the open market as he turns 31, his birthday is March 15, coming off of one of the seasons of his career. Williams tied his career high in interceptions with four and only allowed two passing touchdowns in 2023. As a result he earned a 85.3 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus, the fourth-highest in the entire NFL, trailing only Pro Bowler Jaylon Johnson (91.0), All-Pro Sauce Gardner (90.8) and All-Pro DaRon Bland (89.9). Per Spotrac, Williams' market value now is a two-year, $25.6 million deal ($12.8 average per year). 

Jenkins will go down as one of the more clutch defenders in Jacksonville Jaguars history. His 52-yard pick six of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott sealed a 40-34 overtime victory in Week 15 of the 2022 season, and his strip-sack of then-Tennessee Titans quarterback Joshua Dobbs allowed Allen to sprint 37 yards for an AFC South-clinching fumble return touchdown in a 20-16 win in Week 18 of the 2022 season. 

Here are a few landing spots for both of the ex-Jaguars starters ahead of free agency.

Darious Williams landing spots

Washington Commanders

Washington possesses $91.5 million in cap space this offseason, the second-most in the entire league according to OverTheCap.com. New head coach Dan Quinn oversaw a defensive transformation of the Dallas Cowboys defense as their defensive coordinator that led to two corners, Trevon Diggs and Bland, leading the NFL in interceptions and earning All-Pro nods in his three seasons down in Texas. 

The Commanders have a significant need in their secondary as the lowest-ranked team in scoring defense (30.5 points per game), total defense (388.9 total yards per game), passing touchdowns (39) and passer rating (105.7). Being a part of Quinn's new defense in the nation's capital could lead to Williams receiving a big pay day and elevating his game to new heights. 

Los Angeles Rams

A return home to the Rams, where he spent a career-most four seasons (2018-2021) could be in the cards for Williams. They are set to lose three secondary starters off of their defense in free agency: cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, safety John Johnson III and safety Jordan Fuller. Plus, they have some money to play with thanks to $40.9 million in cap space per OverTheCap.com. 

Detroit Lions

Detroit's rebuild is ahead of schedule as they reached the NFC Championship last season. Now, they just need to get over the hump. Enter Williams, who is already a Super Bowl champion. He could provide some veteran leadership in their secondary and replace pending free agent cornerback Kindle Vildor, whose most memorable play of 2023 was having a potential Brock Purdy interception go through his hands into 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk's arms for a gain of over 40 yards. 

Rayshawn Jenkins landing spots

Green Bay Packers

Three of the Packers' safeties, including both starters Rudy Ford and Darnell Savage, are set to be unrestricted free agents. Jonathan Owens is also readying to hit the open market. Jenkins could be a nice depth addition to a young NFC contender. 

New York Jets

The New York Jets are also set to see three safeties -- Chuck Clark, Jordan Whitehead and Ashtyn Davis -- become unrestricted free agents. Jenkins could head north to the Big Apple, banking on a route to AFC contention with a healed Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.