Jacksonville Jaguars 2018 Free Agency: Tight End

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 03: Cameron Brate
GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 03: Cameron Brate /

The Jacksonville Jaguars have a handful of needs as they head into the offseason. Today we take at look at perhaps the most pressing need: tight end.

Mere minutes away from the Super Bowl, the Jacksonville Jaguars just finished up their most successful season since 2000 thanks to a strong defense and an unusually efficient offense.

As they looks towards the offseason and the 2018 season, they don’t have too many needs. That being said, they certainly shouldn’t stand pat and they need to look at upgrading a few starting positions.

Today we’ll take a look at arguably the biggest position of need – tight end.

This time of year, the Jaguars are usually big players for the most high-profile impending free agents. While they’ve been linked to Kirk Cousins, the Jaguars shouldn’t really be big spenders. That means they shouldn’t go for the top of the market, but that doesn’t mean they can’t look to find a value guy.

Tight end seems like an ideal spot to target in free agency because the middle of the pack is stacked. There are really only 3 or 4 superstars (Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz) and the rest of the position group is fairly clustered together.

The Jaguars desperately need a pass catching tight end. While Marcedes Lewis has served the franchise well for over a decade, they need more athleticism at the position. The only guys slated to come back are Lewis, Ben Koyack, and James O’Shaughnessy. The latter is an intriguing prospect, but the Jaguars need another body.

One guy to target is Cameron Brate.

As Pro Football Focus notes, Brate is a restricted tight end, but an ideal target for the Jaguars.

"Cameron Brate, TE: This is a bit tricky as Brate is a restricted free agent but the Buccaneers might see themselves as set at tight end with O.J. Howard on board. Jacksonville should tender an offer for Brate as he’s put up 14 touchdowns over the past two seasons and finished as a top-10 fantasy performer."

Usually restricted free agency is an impediment, but the Jaguars could take advantage here. The Buccaneers are likely to give Howard a much bigger role, so they’re less inclined to invest more money in another tight end. If they front load an offer, the Jaguars could sneak away with Brate.

This would fill a need and give the Jaguars the flexibility to look at another position early in the draft, perhaps offensive line or quarterback.

The other options in free agency aren’t quite as enticing – Austin Seferian-Jenkins is a head case, Jimmy Graham is going to get overpaid, as is Trey Burton.

What do you think?