The NFL's new league year is still more than two weeks away, but the player movement gears are already starting to turn.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed to trade cornerback A.J. Bouye, a Pro Bowler in 2017, to the Denver Broncos for a fourth-round draft pick. A person familiar with the situation confirmed the pending transaction to USA TODAY Sports' Mike Jones but requested anonymity because deals cannot become official until March 18, when the new league year begins.
Bouye, 28, left the Houston Texans to sign a five-year, $67.5 million contract with the Jags after the 2016 season. He and Jalen Ramsey briefly starred as one of the league's top corner tandems, helping the Jaguars reach the AFC championship game in 2017.
CB A.J. Bouye (21) played three seasons for the Jaguars. (Photo: Steve Mitchell, USA TODAY Sports)
However, Jacksonville lost the lightning from that bottle and hasn't returned to the postseason since. Ramsey was traded to the Los Angeles Rams for two first-round picks last October, meaning the Jags will now likely have to spend some of that draft capital on at least one corner.
After intercepting six passes in 2017, Bouye had one in each of the past two seasons.
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The move continues an ongoing transformation for the Jaguars, who fired executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin before the end of the 2019 season, when the club finished 6-10. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue recently tweeted he does not want to be franchised by the organization and has no intention of signing a long-term deal to remain in Duval County.
The move makes sense from Denver's perspective given longtime slot corner Chris Harris is expected to reach free agency once the league year begins. General manager John Elway said last week at the league's scouting combine that the Broncos will use their franchise tag on Justin Simmons if they cannot strike a multi-year extension with the emergent safety.
Follow USA TODAY Sports' Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.
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