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in Jacksonville, the players signed over the last week by Jacksonville Jaguars general managerDavid Caldwell
appear to be significant upgrades on paper. The Jaguars spent money to bring in players on both sides of the ball, but they sent a very clear message with the acquisitions ofJermey Parnell
– the team is intent on helping out second year quarterbackBlake Bortles
Dan Hanzus over at NFL.com agrees, as he lists Blake Bortles in his column of the six quarterbacks who benefited the most from offseason moves:
"We know the Jaguars believe in Bortles. This was the offseason they needed to supply their young passer with some weapons. The Jags did right by their man, targeting and landing former Broncos tight end Julius Thomas with a big-money deal. Thomas, who had 24 touchdowns in his final two seasons in Denver, gives Bortles a recognized red-zone threat smack in the prime of his career. Jacksonville also took out the checkbook to bolster the line, signing right tackle Jermey Parnell to a five-year deal. There’s more work to do here, but it’s a nice start."
Caldwell showed his willingness to surround Bortles with help last year, when he spent the 3 draft picks following Bortles to snag two wide receivers (Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee) and a guard (Brandon Linder). Linder has worked out wonderfully at right guard, and Allen Robinson had the look of a number 1 receiver before a broken foot ended his season. Marqise Lee took a while to get acclimated, but he started to flash big play ability late in the season.
Caldwell saw the need to protect Bortles (Parnell) and to provide him the option of a dynamic tight end who can move all over the field (Thomas) – he responded by opening his wallet and signing arguably the top guys on the market at those positions.