Free agency feels like ages ago now, with the attention squarely on the NFL draft coming up in less than a month. We’ve discussed all the moves the Jacksonville Jaguars made in free agency in great detail on the site, but some other notable analysts are just getting around to evaluating the moves every team made. The biggest sports media collective is the latest to hand out free agency grades, giving the Jaguars a respectable ‘B’.
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considering the team basically had no choice but to spend big.
"The Jaguars needed to get better on defense and in the running game. They had the flexibility to spend lavishly without compromising their longer-term outlook regarding the salary cap. And so they swung for the free-agent fences. Jacksonville landed Jackson and made a strong push for Olivier Vernon. The money spent for Ivory did not go over very well, although Polian thought the fit was better for Ivory in Jacksonville, where he can be part of a 1-2 punch, than it had been with the Jets."
I don’t think you’ll find anyone who loves the Chris Ivory contract, so it’s not too surprising to see the folks at ESPN didn’t rave about it.
Like Jaguars fans, Mark Dominik thought the push to get Vernon would’ve put this free agency class over the top. Regardless, the defense is improved even if they still have to find a few a pieces.
"“I think it is a ‘B’ grade that would have been an ‘A’ if they could have gotten Vernon,” Dominik said. “Jacksonville has improved that front seven and will continue to do that in the draft, but in the secondary, I’m not sure Amukamara is a good enough fit for what they have to have there. He has size but does not play tough, is not really aware, does not have great ball skills. He is on the field and has some size to him, but when you break it down, you are not checking a lot of boxes.”"
Theo Riddick and Field Yates also had good things to say, noting the instant improvement on defense thanks to the influx of talent.
"Riddick credited the Jaguars for strengthening their team down the middle of the field with Ivory, Jackson and Gipson. Yates thought Jacksonville might have added more talent than any other team.“That is a big number on Malik Jackson, but every other notable name they added comes with some contract flexibility,” Yates said."
A ‘B’ is a fair grade with everything taken into consideration for the Jaguars. General manager David Caldwell addressed a handful of pressing needs and missing out on Olivier Vernon doesn’t discount the good work the team did in finding 3-4 high level starters. Jackson, Gipson, and Amukumara are all staggering upgrades on defense and the team is going to add a number of young options in the draft to bolster the defense as well.