The Jacksonville Jaguars sit at 3-12 as they head towards their season finale in 2014, which means it’s time to look towards 2015 and upgrading the roster through the draft and free agency.
General manager David Caldwell focused on defense in his first draft and on offense in his second draft, and he’ll likely try to inject youth at positions like defensive end and linebacker in his third draft. The expectation however is Caldwell will be extremely active in free agency thanks to an embarrassing amount of cap space.
Joel Corry, a former sports agent, wrote up a piece over at CBS Sports going through the seven teams who should have the most projected salary cap space in 2015. At the top of the list is the Jacksonville Jaguars:
"1. Jacksonville JaguarsSalary Cap Room Projection: $61.58 MillionJacksonville leads the NFL in 2015 salary cap space partially because of having the most carry over room at $21.9 million. This isn’t due to a lack of aggressiveness in free agency. The Jaguars signed transition player Alex Mack to a five-year, $42 million offer sheet that was quickly matched by the Cleveland Browns.Expect more of this approach from the Jaguars in 2015. Owner Shad Khan has pledged that the team will be very active in free agency. The Jaguars took a step in that direction heading into Week 16’s action by signing impending free agent defensive tackle Roy Millerto a four-year, $16.25 million contract extension.Seven players are headed toward unrestricted free agency. Wide receiver Cecil Shorts is the best of the bunch. The Jaguars may not make much of an effort to re-sign him after selecting Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson in the second round of this year’s draft, and picking up Allen Hurns, who has been the team’s most productive wide receiver, as an undrafted free agent.It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Jaguars continue their trend of reuniting head coach Gus Bradley with some of the players he had as defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks.Byron Maxwell (6-foot-1, 207 pounds) has the size Bradley prefers at cornerback. Super Bowl XLVIII MVP Malcolm Smith would be an upgrade at outside linebacker."
As Corry mentions right away, David Caldwell isn’t afraid to be aggressive in trying to lure top-tier free agents. He managed to sign a premium center in Alex Mack to a big contract, but unfortunately the Cleveland Browns exercised their option to match. With guys like Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Justin Houston, Devin McCourty, and Bryan Bulaga potentially available after this season, don’t be surprised to see Caldwell bust out some huge offers to add a veteran presence to the squad, particularly on a very young offense.