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The Jacksonville Jaguars head into their 3rd offseason under general managerDavid Caldwell
with one distinct advantage over every other team in the NFL – oodles of cap space. According to
, the Jaguars will have about $62,421,209 in projected cap space to work with this offseason, and that’s before any veterans are cut to open up even more room for spending.
Luke has already talked about how effectively David Caldwell and even more so Gus Bradley can attract top free agents, but getting some of the top guys isn’t totally in the Jaguars’ control. For example, probably the best fit of all the free agents given need is New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty.
The Jaguars have a solid strong safety in Johnathan Cyprien, but his overall impact has been diminished due to less than stellar play from his accompanying safety. Josh Evans has been just OK, but he lacks the range needed to cover the back end, forcing Cyprien to play less aggressively to help prevent big plays.
McCourty graded out as the 8th best safety in all of football last year according to Pro Football Focus, while Josh Evans graded out as the 84th best out of 87.
So yes, McCourty would be a perfect upgrade for the Jaguars, but what are the odds he even makes it to the free agent market? Gregg Rosenthal over at NFL.com doesn’t think he makes it out of New England.
"» S Devin McCourty: Strong guess: He’s viewed internally as more important to retain than Revis,Vince Wilfork or virtually any other Patriot. He’s a captain and one of Belichick’s favorite for his smarts. The franchise tag is a possibility."
The Patriots could potentially use the franchise tag on McCourty, but I think they would much rather work out a long term deal before it even gets to that point. Darrelle Revis is really the other guy who will likely need to work out a deal, but it appears the Patriots would rather let him walk than McCourty.
If McCourty does get a chance to test the market, the Jaguars should pounce. Unfortunately they might not even get that opportunity.