Jacksonville Jaguars offseason plans affected by Alex Smith trade

KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 6: Quarterback Alex Smith
KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 6: Quarterback Alex Smith /

The Jacksonville Jaguars are potentially a team looking to upgrade at quarterback this offseason, and the landscape has shifted after the Alex Smith trade.

Not content with being overshadowed by (yet another) New England Patriots Super Bowl, the NFL offseason got off to a roaring start last night with a huge trade – former first overall pick Alex Smith going to the Washington Redskins.

This move ensures Kirk Cousins will hit the open market and likely get the richest contract in the history of the NFL.

Reportedly, 6 teams inquired about Smith.

Were the Jaguars one of those teams? I doubt it.

Looking at the haul that Kansas City managed to get, I doubt the Jaguars were willing to pony up what the market seemed to be for Smith. A third round pick is one thing, but the Washington Redskins had to give up one of the best slot cornerbacks in the league as well to get Smith.

Furthermore, they had to pay an absurd amount of money to a QB that two teams have now been more than content to trade away.

It’s quite telling that the Redskins opted not to pay Kirk Cousins, but instead chose to pay a relatively similar amount to an allegedly lesser quarterback.

The Jaguars of the 2018 offseason are not the Jaguars of the 2014-2017 offseason – they no longer have exorbitant amounts of cap space available to them.

Obviously, if the Jaguars felt there was a quarterback out there capable of upgrading the position significantly they would make it work, but trading for and signing Alex Smith to that contract would have meant cutting a few players.

Shifting over to the path ahead, the Jaguars are going to have to offer more than what Smith got if they want any shot at Kirk Cousins.

The top competition will be teams with significantly more cap space: the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Denver Broncos.

Is Kirk Cousins better than Blake Bortles? Yes. How much better is the real question, in addition to whether or not you think Bortles will continue to improve.

After his recent wrist surgery, it seems more and more likely that Blake will be back on his fifth year option. In that case, the best move the Jaguars can make is draft a guy and roll with Bortles for another year.  Save your draft picks and cap space and see if the guy you took third overall can find more consistency after his best year. If he doesn’t cut it, you’ll have a backup plan ready to go to evaluate for the future.