The Jacksonville Jaguars looked solid throughout the preseason in almost every facet of the game save one – the pass rush. With first round pick Dante Fowler Jr. out of the lineup for the entire season, the Jaguars look ill-equipped to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
One proposition made recently was to sign much-maligned outside linebacker Aldon Smith, fresh from being released by the San Francisco 49ers after yet another off the field incident. There were plenty of logical reasons for the Jaguars to make a push to acquire the star pass rusher… and they did just that. Unfortunately their attempt fell short, as Smith opted to sign with the Oakland Raiders:
Signing Smith was looked at mostly as a long-term move, as most expected Smith to be suspended for a majority of the 2015 season. Oddly enough, the process has been slow enough in punishing Smith that he’s already at practice with the Raiders.
Ultimately, I’d be shocked if Smith wasn’t suspended within the next few weeks or so.
While it’s nice to see the Jaguars try and make this happen, it’s frustrating to not land him. Having a tandem like Smith and Fowler come in together in 2016 would have been a hell of an acquisition, along with whoever the Jaguars draft and sign next offseason.
Regardless, this move doesn’t affect the team in 2015 and shouldn’t damper the enthusiasm the team and fans have going into the first game of the season. The Jaguars are being picked by several analysts to win and bettors seem to be going hard on the Jags as an underdog against the Carolina Panthers. Not having a pass rush against Cam Newton isn’t ideal, but the Jaguars can hopefully counteract that with a solid offensive performance.
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