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.
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