The Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed to send veteran cornerback A.J. Bouye to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a 2020 fourth-round draft pick, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The trade cannot be finalized until the new league year opens March 18. Bouye was likely to be released by Jacksonville had they not found a trade partner. He has two years remaining on his contract. The 28-year-old was set to earn $15.4 million in 2019. The Jaguars stand to gain roughly $11.4 million towards their salary cap space with the move.
While at the NFL scouting combine last week, Jacksonville general manager Dave Caldwell fell short of saying whether or not Bouye would return for another season.
"Those are some things that we're discussing with [defensive coordinator Todd] Wash -- and A.J. had a nice year last year. We'll explore all options with him but he still has a lot of football left in him," Caldwell said. "Again, another player that we really like here as a person and as a guy and obviously you guys know the salary restrictions and all that stuff. Realistically, it's not as bad when you put him in line with the rest of the corners in the league."
Bouye, an undrafted free agent out of UCF in 2013, recorded 65 tackles, eight pass deflections, and an interception in 14 games last season. He made his lone Pro Bowl appearance in 2017. Over the course of his career, he has accumulated 16 interceptions and a touchdown. After four seasons with the Houston Texans, he signed a lucrative four-year deal worth $67.5 million in March of 2017.
The return of head coach Doug Marrone may have soured the idea of another season in Jacksonville. In October of 2018, Bouye revealed to reporters that he would not be playing in Week 10 against the Indianapolis Colts. The news came as a surprise to the head coach.
"I guess I'll have to talk to him about that. That's not what the trainer told me. He did say that? OK, we will take care of that. That's not been told to me by the trainer. That's the truth," Marrone said at the time, via Pro Football Talk.
Denver is preparing to lose veteran cornerback Chris Harris Jr. in free agency. By adding Bouye via trade, Denver will have one less roster hole to fill this offseason if and when Harris signs with another team.
Jacksonville has 10 draft choices in the 2020 draft, including No. 9 and No. 20 overall. It also possesses nine draft choices in the 2021 draft, including two first-round picks. Denver, on the other hand, has eight picks at its disposal in the 2020 draft, including five in the first three rounds.