Jacksonville Jaguars free agency in 2017 is going to be something special. With money to burn all of the top targets could be wearing the black and teal starting in 2017.
If the NFL thought the Jacksonville Jaguars went big in 2016, wait until they see what the team has in store for free agency in 2017.
The Jags don’t have the same kinds of glaring weaknesses that they had entering the 2016 season, but they still have some holes to fill. That will include some key positions, especially in underperforming spots like free safety, running back, tight end, and the offensive line.
With so many great players set to hit the free agent market (teams will likely make players for many of them to return), opportunity abounds. Almost every position that could be upgraded can be. Just looking over Pro Football Focus’ top free agents for 2017 yields plenty of enticing names already.
Without further ado, let’s look at the possible talent injections that, as of early February, are still scheduled to hit the market.
1) A.J. Bouye, pending Houston Texans free agent cornerback
A.J. Bouye has played impressively over the last three seasons, earning his spot as a nearly full time starter in 2016. Since 2013 he has six interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. He also has one fumble forced, one recovered, and a sack. Last season he broke up 16 passes.
That is the kind of disruptive play the Jacksonville Jaguars desperately need in the secondary. For too long the Jags have struggled to get turnovers and shut down drives with big plays. Jalen Ramsey has helped to bolster the secondary in his rookie season and the sky seems to be the limit for him as he grows, but he can’t do it alone.
Which brings up an interesting conundrum for the Jags. Do they go after a top talent like Bouye to add to the secondary or do they hope and pray that returning defensive coordinator Todd Wash has a bigger departure from departed head coach Gus Bradley’s philosophy? If the latter, Wash needs to emphasize getting big plays from the secondary. The current talent on the roster could deliver, but having a more dominant player like Bouye would be nice as well.
The Houston Texans defense would miss Bouye if the let him hit free agency. He has been a strong contributor for the team, even among other strong contributors. It will be intriguing to see how hard they pursue him.