The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed QB Jake Luton and claimed K James McCourt off of waivers from the Los Angeles Chargers, the team announced today.
In addition, Jacksonville waived K Ryan Santoso, who was inconsistent this summer and made only 3 of 6 field goals in three preseason games.
McCourt, an undrafted rookie free agent in 2022, spent six years at Illinois (2016-21), spending his first three seasons as a reserve before taking over as the primary kicker in 2019. He connected on 18 of 23 field goals in 2021, including tying a school record with four 50-plus yard field goals.
Jaguars coach Doug Pederson is impressed by what McCourt brings to the table.
“It’s impressive,” Pederson said about McCourt’s leg strength. “That part of it we like, and obviously the consistency is what you look for in kickers, and it will be a good opportunity for him. For us, just keep going through the process; we’ve still got a little bit of time before kicks mean something. It will be a good opportunity for him.”
Last week, the team signed E.J. Perry and waived Luton, who spent training camp with the Jaguars in 2020 and 2021 and has appeared in two preseason games with Jacksonville in 2022, but today, they brought him back; Pederson explained the decision.
“I just want to get C.J.(Beathard) 100% healthy,” Pederson said. “It just looked and appeared on film that he wasn’t 100 percent healthy coming off his injury from the spring, and this gives him time to get healthy, and it’s a great opportunity for Jake to get some more time and be seen and get some more reps. Hopefully, he can take advantage of that.”
In three career regular season games, all in 2020 with the Jaguars, Luton completed 60 of 110 passes for 624 yards and two TDs.
The kicking game is essential, and it’s sometimes overlooked, so clearly, the team did not feel comfortable with Santoso.
Regarding Luton, it appears Jacksonville is trying to protect Beathard and get him healthy for the season while, at the same time, allowing Luton to get some valuable reps as the team has joint practices coming up with the Falcons this week before they play their final preseason game against Atlanta on Saturday.
With the joint practices, and Jacksonville playing its fourth preseason game, you wonder if Trevor Lawrence and Beathard will play on Saturday, which means Perry and Luton will possibly battle it out for a practice squad spot as the team is not expected to carry three quarterbacks on its active roster.