Jags Should Go All Out For Devin McCourty
Devin McCourty became a very popular free agent with the announcement that the New England Patriots would not be using the franchise tag on him. It was a move that shocked many, including McCourty. New England has got to be tempting to return to for the star free safety, but in his own words: “I don’t want to play there no matter what, but I want to be back. We’ll have to see how it works out.”
With all of that in mind, the Jaguars are one of the teams that McCourty knows will try and pursue him if he doesn’t stay with the Pats.
The Jags desperately need a reliable free safety in the back of their defensive secondary. They also need someone who can help teach the younger players how to do their jobs professionally, consistently, and to make plays. He’s a converted cornerback who has great awareness on defense and can be an instant on the field and locker room leader.
Those reasons alone are tempting for the Jaguars.
But that’s not the only reason the Jags should go all out for Devin McCourty. As noted by ESPN’s Michael DiRocco:
"It’s not a particularly good crop in free agency, and the draft pool isn’t considered very good, either. So if the Jaguars are going to fix the biggest issue on defense in 2015 they must go after McCourty."
Right now, McCourty is easily the top available free safety. He’s also becoming available in time for a relatively week safety draft class in 2015. That makes him worth a lot more than he normally would be, especially for a team like the Jaguars. The Jags aren’t in a position to land one of the top talents in the draft as none of them appear worthy of a top pick in the first round and there is a sharp dropoff in value after the first couple at the position.
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The Jags are in a position to spend in free agency, however, and McCourty will certainly be willing to listen to some dollar signs.The Jags will have to make sure that they don’t show all their cards and make an offer that is respectable to one of the league’s burgeoning young defensive stars.
There are a lot of holes to fill for the Jags right now and some believe the Jags should go all out for other prospects, but McCourty’s availability is a game changer for the team. He’s where value and need meet. He’s the be all and end all at a position that the Jags have simply struggled with over the last few years (looking at you, Winston Guy and Josh Evans). It may not be sexy and it may not be the big “splash” that everyone wants, but even if the Jags only land McCourty in free agency, it would go a long way toward improving the team.
Fortunately, there’s more than enough money for the Jaguars to be players pretty much anywhere. While I think that McCourty should be someone the Jags focus on (I won’t go so far as to say he should be the number one focus, like DiRocco does), there’s plenty of other places to spend that dough. With John Idzik on board and plenty of quality talent-evaluators working overtime, the Jags can afford to pursue multiple options at once. This is one they can afford to overpay on.