Posted March 4, 2014 10:19 am - Updated March 4, 2014 02:08 pm

Jaguars cut starting right guard Uche Nwaneri

Uche Nwaneri

The Jaguars made their first bold move of the offseason on Tuesday, releasing veteran starting right guard Uche Nwaneri.

The move, based on performance, is expected to add around $3.7 million in salary-cap space to the Jaguars glut of roughly $60 million.

The 6-foot-3, 310-pound Nwaneri played seven seasons for the Jaguars, starting 92 of the 104 games he played in for the franchise. The former fifth-round pick out of Purdue in 2007 turns 30 on March 20.

Gene Frenette: Nwaneri release another sign leaky OL needs fixing

Nwaneri played all 1,056 snaps this past season for the Jaguars and was called for four penalties. He was projected to make roughly $5.9 million in 2014. The Jaguars will take roughly a $2.2 million cap hit by releasing him.

Letting Nwaneri go means the entire interior of the offensive line could be replaced this offseason. Longtime center Brad Meester retired after the season, while left guard Will Rackley's future as a starter is questionable.
The Jaguars have ample ammunition to upgrade their line. General manager Dave Caldwell could fill needs in free agency starting March 11, as the Jaguars have the third-most cap space in the league. Caldwell also has 10 picks in May's draft, including two fourth-round choices and three fifth-round selections.

The Jaguars coached the South squad in January's Senior Bowl and should have a good feel for which prospects can be productive at guard and center.

The Jaguars had difficulty blocking opponents during their 4-12 season, finishing 31st in total and rushing offense, as well as 22nd in passing offense.

Nwaneri was the last remaining player from the team's 2007 draft, in which the Jaguars took Florida safety Reggie Nelson in the first round (21st overall). Nwaneri instantly becomes a free agent.

Caldwell hinted Nwaneri might be in jeopardy of losing his job in his post season press conference on Dec. 31 when asked about the offensive line.

"Who can we anticipate filling that center role, right guard role or left guard role?," Caldwell said.