A roster with very few holes led to a more subdued offseason frenzy for the Jacksonville Jaguars than in previous years.
Over the course of the last few seasons, the Jacksonville Jaguars have been heralded as free agent winners, having inked deals with such players as Malik Jackson, Tashaun Gibson, A.J. Bouye, Barry Church, and of course Calais Campbell.
Those additions were a massive part of why the Jaguars finally put it all together with on the field success, and why the team now has one of the most talented rosters in the entire league.
With the loaded depth chart, Jacksonville didn’t need to have another flashy offseason, and because of that, the 2018 free agency haul didn’t quite have the fireworks of previous years, despite personally having the opinion that the signing of Andrew Norwell will emerge as one of the most impactful in the NFL.
But within the more quiet free agency for the Jaguars, was there still a risky signing? According to Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton, the riskiest move of Jacksonville’s offseason was signing D.J Hayden to fill the nickel role on defense.
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Through four seasons in the league, Hayden obviously hasn’t lived up to the potential expected when selected in the first round by the Oakland Raiders in 2013, and the three-year, $19 million contract agreed upon is hefty. But the cornerback is set up with easily his best chance at success on this Jaguars defense.
Having the luxury of both playing on the best defense in the league, and being in a position room with stars like Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, Hayden has the best supporting cast possible. If the first-round talent is ever going to show up, this is the situation, in a less-pressured role as a slot corner.
The loss of Aaron Colvin was a big one, and D.J Hayden certainly has his work cut out for him. But Hayden has a chance to effectively hold down the fort in the nickel position on a stacked Jacksonville Jaguars defense in 2018.