In a difficult decision ahead of Tuesday's roster deadline, Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson had to make the tough call to waive his own son, Josh Pederson, from the team. The younger Pederson, a 25-year-old tight end, joined the Jaguars' stacked tight end room in July after playing in the USFL for the Houston Gamblers last season.
Josh Pederson's journey in the NFL has been a challenging one. He went undrafted in the 2021 NFL Draft out of the University of Louisiana at Monroe and was signed by the San Francisco 49ers but ultimately waived before the start of the season. He then had a brief stint with the New Orleans Saints before being waived again. In February 2022, he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs but was once again waived a few months later.
Despite these setbacks, Pederson remained determined and joined the USFL for the 2022 season, where he showcased his skills by catching 24 passes for 325 yards in 10 games with the Houston Gamblers. His performance caught the attention of the Jaguars, who gave him an opportunity to compete for a spot on their roster.
However, with the likes of Evan Engram, Luke Farrell, Brenton Strange, and Leonard Tyrell ahead of him on the depth chart, Pederson faced an uphill battle to secure a spot on the 53-man roster. Throughout the preseason, he failed to record a catch and had a notable error as a long snapper during a punt attempt.
Speaking about the possibility of cutting his own son from the team, Coach Pederson humorously remarked, "I spanked him at one point," before adding, "Same thing?" with a laugh. Despite the challenging decision, the head coach expressed his support for his son, saying, "I would want to tell him... walk him through the process and let him know that everything's going to be okay."
While the decision to waive Josh Pederson may have been difficult for Coach Pederson, it was a necessary move to trim the roster down to 53 players. As the Jaguars aim to repeat their success from the previous season, where they secured a division crown and won a thrilling playoff game against the Chargers, the competition for roster spots remains fierce.
As for family dynamics, future family dinners at Doug Pederson's house may be a little awkward. Nonetheless, both father and son will continue to navigate the ups and downs of their respective careers in the NFL, with Josh Pederson remaining determined to find his place in the league.
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