Dec 22, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew (32) runs with the ball as Tennessee Titans defends during the second half at EverBank Field. Tennessee Titans defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-16. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars 2014 Free Agency - Plenty of Cap Room


Nov 3, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (72) celebrates a sack against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the third quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2013 NFL season firmly behind us, we can look forward towards the 2014 NFL Draft. Before the draft looms free agency however, and the Jacksonville Jaguars have plenty of cap space to sign players who can contribute.

According to Spotrac.com, the Jaguars have the second highest projected cap space in 2014 with $50,399,782, behind only the Oakland Raiders who are projected to have $63,633,401 in cap room. With all that space, the Jaguars also have 8 unrestricted free agents to consider resigning.

  • Maurice Jones-Drew
  • Will Blackmon
  • Brandon Deaderick
  • Clay Harbor
  • Chad Henne
  • Kyle Love
  • Taylor Price
  • Brad Meester (retiring)

Of these 8 free agents, I see the Jaguars attempting to resign Blackmon, Deaderick, and Harbor. I think Jones-Drew will walk and find a more lucrative contract elsewhere since general manager David Caldwell has made it clear he will not overspend to keep him . Regardless, the Jaguars will not be spending a lot to keep their own free agents, which means they really will have an enormous amount of cap space. The question is whether or not this is the right offseason to open their wallets and spend big.

Obviously whether or not to spend a lot depends on the free agent crop, but there aren’t too many big name free agents who will appeal to the Jaguars. Defensive end Greg Hardy is likely getting a massive contract from a team or he’ll get franchised by the Panthers. A much more likely free agent signing is Michael Bennett, who doesn’t have quite the production Hardy does, but he is still a massive upgrade to whatever the Jaguars have now.

Another big name who fills a hole is Alex Mack at center. Mack is considered one of the top centers in the NFL and will likely command a hefty contract, meaning Caldwell might be looking elsewhere to fill that need. A mid-to-late round draft pick coupled with a cheap veteran free agent is likely the best route there.

2014 is just the second step in Caldwell’s massive overhaul of the Jacksonville roster, so don’t expect him to break the bank in free agency until 2015.

 

-Daniel Lago

Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89

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Tags: Alex Mack Brad Meester David Caldwell Jacksonville Jaguars Maurice Jones-drew Michael Bennett

  • David

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Harbor or Blackmon coming back, but really we have to continue to bolster our defensive line rotation. As solid as Deaderick was at times, I think Caldwell can do better.

    Not sure about Hardy. Yes, he’s a beast but really the market price he is going to demand will be very steep. Would the contract match the production once he gets his big money? Very risky. I like your idea of Michael Bennett much much better. I also like Alex Mack as he’s been one of the best centers in the league albeit under the radar in comparison to other offensive linemen.

    If we do end up signing a “name” free agent, then I do have faith in the signing because it would mean Caldwell believes the player worth it. Unlike other GMs past, I trust Caldwell.

    Personally I’d like to see us continue to use free agency as a supplement and signing value guys. The Marks and Miller signing last March were awesome, and we didn’t break the bank in doing so. I’m a huge fan of building through the draft. It just got Seattle a Lombardi trophy.

    • Daniel Lago

      Yeah Marks was definitely a slam dunk signing last offseason, those are exactly the kind of guys we need to key on in free agency. And I’d like Harbor back too, I think he played well as that move tight end who complimented Lewis.