The Jacksonville Jaguars acquired some talented individuals in free agency last year, but it’s still not fair to call it a successful endeavor.
The Jacksonville Jaguars went into the 2016 regular season with an unfamiliar set of expectations – playoff contention. This was driven largely by an influx of talent, partly from a highly praised free agency class. The Jaguars managed to snag the top player available (Malik Jackson), two players who perfectly fit their scheme (Tashaun Gipson and Prince Amukamara), and a proven – albeit overpaid – lead running back (Chris Ivory).
Of course, the Jaguars failed miserably in attempting to meet those expectations, finishing the 2016 season with a paltry 3 wins.
Kevin Seifert used the power of hindsight to grade the winners and losers of the 2016 free agency period, and unsurprisingly the Jaguars were listed as losers:
"Jacksonville JaguarsMore from Jacksonville Jaguars NewsJaguars: The first overall pick may be coming to the AFC SouthAddressing the Jacksonville Jaguars defense is pivotal in 20235 draft prospects the Jacksonville Jaguars must keep an eye on in the 2023 NFL Combine3 centers the Jacksonville Jaguars should draft with pick 57Jacksonville Jaguars won’t get to see TE Dalton Kincaid perform drills at 2023 NFL CombineTo be clear, the Jaguars signed some players with individual talents. Jackson produced 6.5 sacks. Cornerback Prince Amukamara and safety Tashaun Gipson are good players. But when you commit $58 million in full guarantees to a class, you expect immediate improvement. (The group also includes running back Chris Ivory.) Instead, the Jaguars fell back by two games and finished 3-13. Perhaps some of these players will contribute to a big leap in 2017 under new coach Doug Marrone. Until then, however, the Jaguars’ 2016 class must be considered a flop."
Seifert takes a leveled approach here in discussing the Jaguars’ free agency haul; while the team certainly improved their talent level, it’s a bit illogical to consider any part of the franchise a success when the end result is so awful.
That being said, the team was under the leadership of the worst head coach in the history of professional football, so there’s a very good chance this collection of players will perform better in 2017. For now though, it’s fair to say the 2016 class was not a rousing success.