Jacksonville Jaguars: 30 greatest players in franchise history
By John Buhler
Though they haven’t been around all that long, the Jacksonville Jaguars have definitely had some excellent players over the years. Here are their 30 best.
No, it has not been the longest of histories for the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, the team is about to enter its 24th professional season down in Duval County in North Florida. After several years of futility, Jacksonville begins the 2018 campaign as a legitimate Super Bowl LIII contender out of the AFC South.
Jacksonville in its young history has played in three AFC Championships to date, including last year up in Foxborough. However, the Jaguars have yet to punch their ticket to the big game in franchise history, falling to the New England Patriots twice in 1996 and 2017, as well as to the division rival Tennessee Titans back in 1999.
Yet, here we are, very much excited about the season ahead. The Jaguars went 10-6 last season thanks in large to part to a culture shift on the defensive side of the ball. #Sacksonville nearly took the Jaguars to the Twin Cities for the right to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. But Tom Brady happened…it happens.
As we get ready to get ready for presumably another great year of Jaguars football, let’s take a few minutes to look back on some of the best players to have ever worn the black and teal. Here are the 30 greatest players in Jaguars history through the 2017 NFL season.
Honorable Mentions: A.J. Bouye, Chris Hanson Mark Hollis, Allen Hurns, Myles Jack, Malik Jackson, Carnell Lake, Byron Leftwich, Sen’Derrick Marks, Yannick Ngakoue, Montell Owens, Mike Peterson, Leon Searcy, Cecil Shorts III, Gary Walker
- 115 games played for Jaguars, 63 starts at defensive end
- 219 career tackles, 38 assists, 16 passes defended
- 28.5 career quarterback sacks
Paul Spicer came to Jacksonville ahead of the 2000 NFL season. He had been an undrafted free agent out of Saginaw Valley State in 1998. Spicer competed for a roster spot with the Seattle Seahawks that season, but was unsuccessful. He ended up playing his first year of professional ball in Canada for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the CFL.
While he did make the Detroit Lions roster in 1999, he only appeared in two games for them before being released. With his NFL career hanging in the balances, Spicer was able to carve out a successful nine-year career for the Jaguars in the 2000s as a defensive end.
Spicer played in 115 games for the Jaguars in his NFL career, starting in 63 of them. Injuries did limit his effectiveness in both 2000 and 2004, appearing in only five games those two seasons. Though he did play in every regular season game from 2001 to 2003, Spicer wouldn’t hit his prime as a professional until his age-30 season in 2005.
This is when Spicer did enough to crack the top-30 in Jaguars history. He set a career-high in quarterback sacks with 7.5. He would match that mark two years later in 2007. However, his NFL career would come to end in Jacksonville after the 2008 NFL season at age 33.
Spicer would be with the New Orleans Saints for the 2009 NFL season. While he was part of the Super Bowl championship team that season, Spicer never made it to the field as a member of the Saints. He only stuck with the roster late in the year after Charles Grant succumbed to injury at regular season’s end.
Overall, Spicer finished his Jaguars career with 219 tackles, 38 assists, 28.5 quarterback sacks and 16 passes defended. Longevity, a gradual build as a player and a late-career prime are what have Spicer in at No. 30. Obviously, other great young players on the team today will jump him in a matter of seasons, but Spicer’s body of work suffices at this stage of the Jaguars’ young history.