Jaguars free agency began with a bang in 2015!
The Jacksonville Jaguars free agency explosion set the franchise pace for most players signed (or about to be signed, but agreements made) at six. That’s six brand new faces coming to the Jaguars in 2015 to be integral parts of a team that is just now starting to grow into its potential. It’s important to stay focused and temper our enthusiasm, but with so many quality players coming to Jacksonville, it’s tough not to let the excitement carry you!
Heading into Tuesday, it was already known that the Jaguars would have a number of players signed. They were:
- OT Jermey Parnell
- LB Dan Skuta
- TE Julius Thomas
- DT Jared Odrick
Throughout the day, those four pickups were beginning to become finalized (as expected). With the NFL none too pleased that teams were announcing deals before the official 2015 NFL Free Agency period opened, you’ve got to wonder if the Jags will be investigated.
Three of those four players (Parnell, Skuta, Thomas) fill a need. Jaguars free agency has been need focused to this point and GM Dave Caldwell has done an excellent job ensuring that his team’s needs are filled.
Also throughout the day, two other players were signed on to be Jaguars:
House and Brown both figure to get extensive reps during the season, though their official roles haven’t been announced or fleshed out at this point. Both Brown and House have excellent size for defensive backs, so they should fit in well with head coach Gus Bradley’s schemes and roles on defense.
Both House and Brown have experience starting, though that experience is not extensive. Like many of the pre-day one announcements, the Jags are taking chances here on players that have upside and they believe can become quality starters. Whether that comes to fruition or not in 2015 will likely be how these players are judged going forward.
The big fish for day one of NFL Free agency, however, was DeMarco Murray. Murray is reportedly considering the Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, and Oakland Raiders in addition to his 2014 team, the Dallas Cowboys. He’s the reigning NFL rushing champion and he’ll command top dollar, but he left us all holding our breath through the night as he weighed his options. No decision came out of his camp, but it is expected he will make a decision soon.
The hunt will be on at the start of the day for DeMarco Murray and the Jaguars are just as in the Murray Sweepstakes as anyone else. They will also have to target other free agents to fill holes.
It’s important to note that at the end of day one, the Jaguars have effectively key additions (even if they are role players or reserves) to their roster. Julius Thomas is the crown jewel of the 2015 Jaguars free agency class and they have already done well overall. Landing someone like Murray going forward would simply be an added bonus.
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