The Jacksonville Jaguars need pass rush help and Robert Ayers could be exactly the free agent addition to do that.
Robert Ayers has 14 sacks over the last two seasons, which would immediately make him the most productive pass rusher on the Jacksonville Jaguars roster if he were to sign with the team. That isn’t a particularly impressive number in the grand scheme of things, especially with other players producing double digit totals in single seasons, but it would be much better than anything the Jags have fielded in recent years.
So far in free agency the Jags have signed a punter, a safety, a running back, a defensive lineman, and re-signed a tight end. None of those players are the kind of pure pass rusher that the team needs who can be balanced against the run. It’s comforting to see that the team is focusing on the pass rush position – the leo in the Jags defense – and bringing in Ayers for a visit.
While it is tempting to say that Ayers is a must-sign player for the Jags, there is a balance that general manager Dave Caldwell has to find in order to build an overall successful team. In his recent press conference, Caldwell noted that there can only be one leo on the field in the Jags’ defense, so bringing in someone to possibly play second fiddle to Dante Fowler Jr. could influence negotiations.
There’s no doubt that Ayers would be a talent upgrade for the Jacksonville Jaguars at the pass rushing position and provide a balanced run stopping capacity as well. How he fits, either as a backup, rotational player, or otherwise would be the sticking points. With other players like safety Tashaun Gipson joining the Jags because of opportunities available to him to succeed as a player in their defense, it will be interesting to see if Ayers has similar opportunities as a pass rusher for the Jags.
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Either way, it’s a step forward. The Jags can afford to spend on another player to compete with Fowler at the position and would be wise to spend on Ayers. The former first rounder could be a great investment.