Fooch's update: Maiocco reporting Skuta getting 5-year deal worth $20.5 million. Well then.
The San Francisco 49ers are likely going to lose a key reserve when free agency opens Tuesday afternoon. Dan Skuta is expected to sign a contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to ESPN's Adam Caplan. There is no word on terms yet, but it appears he will move right into the starting lineup.
Skuta has been a solid reserve for the 49ers in his two season with the team. When he first joined the team in 2013, I figured he would be used primarily for special teams. He started out that way, but then Aldon Smith got into trouble. Skuta moved into the starting lineup, and was a solid, albeit not so spectacular replacement. Corey Lemonier appeared to be moving past Skuta on the depth chart as the season wore on, but then Aldon Smith returned from rehab and finished out the season.
In 2014, Smith started the season with a suspension, and the 49ers once again rolled out Dan Skuta, this time with Aaron Lynch. The 49ers got a huge rookie campaign from Lynch, but Skuta also had a career year. Skuta finished with five sacks and he and Lynch were critical to the 49ers maintaining some semblance of a pass rush during Smith's absence.
Losing Skuta is certainly not the worst thing to happen today, but it is still a bit disappointing. Aldon Smith's future beyond 2015 is pretty fuzzy, and Ahmad Brooks could be released in the near future. Aaron Lynch showed he has the skills and talent to be a keeper, but there is a chance for some turmoil at the outside linebacker position. That being said, Skuta was likely not going to be a particularly long-term option, so it is not a surprise he will depart.
I am curious though how much the Jaguars will pay him. He is coming off a career year with his five sacks surpassing the rest of his career combined (a total of 0.5 sacks before that). Will he build on that, or is he going to be a one-year wonder?