Dec 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Ziggy Hood (96) runs out of the tunnel for player introductions before playing the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 20-7. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Grading free agency after basically two weeks is about as logical as grading every team’s draft the day after it ends, but it’s inevitable every year. We already took a look at what some folks around the Fansided network thought about the Jaguars’ moves, and now we can take a look at what some of the pundits over at the worldwide leader think.
Mike Sando put together an insider article over at ESPN where he, Bill Polian, Louis Riddick, Matt Williamson, and Field Yates graded all 32 teams’ moves in free agency. They gave the Jaguars an overall grade of B+, which was the second highest grade handed out.
They made note of the utility of Gus Bradley’s former players from Seattle and their ability to play right away in his scheme.
"… the Jaguars found players ideally suited for the schemes they run. Clemons and Bryant can plug directly into the defense thanks to their experience under Jags head coach Gus Bradley in Seattle…"
Sando also praised David Caldwell’s wizardry in somehow acquiring compensation for former first round quarterback Blaine Gabbert in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers.
"Getting a sixth-round pick from San Francisco for Gabbert seemed admirable one year after the 49ers spent a sixth-rounder for Anquan Boldin. Gabbert was finished in Jacksonville."
Field Yates lauded Caldwell for being aggressive yet frugal, and for structuring the contracts in such a way that the Jaguars will not be cap-strapped or handcuffed to any players in the coming years.
"The Jaguars have quietly added potentially close to 10 new starters, and they haven’t excessively paid for any… What is perhaps best about their efforts is that many of their deals are constructed in such a way that they amount to year-by-year decisions. That allows them to evaluate each player each season and move on without major financial penalty."
Bill Polian was straight to the point, stating that Jaguars simply got better by adding more talented players, and getting rid of poor ones.
"They added seven professional guys at great prices. That is good. And they got rid of Gabbert."
It’s still the offseason so there’s not much to take away from these grades, but most people seem to think the Jaguars handled free agency very well. They made themselves better at numerous positions of need, but they still have the flexibility of taking whoever they want in the draft.
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