Will the Jaguars be active at the NFL Trade Deadline?
By David Levin
Given the team’s recent fall and its stagnant offense, will the Jacksonville Jaguars become players as the NFL trade deadline is less than two weeks away?
This time last season, the Jacksonville Jaguars had just lost to the Los Angeles Rams at home and were headed to Indianapolis for a road game with the Colts prior to their bye week. It was also the last game the team played before Dave Caldwell pulled off a deal to bring defensive tackle Marcell Dareus from Buffalo to North Florida.
The deal was shocking because the Jaguars defense was already one of the best in the NFL. Caldwell, who has been the mastermind behind developing this defensive unit, identified a need to improve the team’s run defense and found a player who was familiar with head coach Doug Marrone and his game plan from their time in Buffalo together.
We all know how the deal worked out as the Jaguars improved at stopping the run and made a march toward the AFC Title game.
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This year, things are a bit different. The offense has struggled sans the game against New England and the New York Jets. The defense has looked ordinary for the last two weeks. Injuries have forced key players – Cam Robinson, Corey Grant, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Marqise Lee – to the injured reserve list. One of the healthiest teams last season has become one of the most decimated.
Despite the fact that Caldwell and the front office have added players to fill roster spots, will he play the role on Monte Hall and play “Let’s Make a Deal?”
The Jaguars still have a major need at left tackle and tight end. The running back situation should take care of itself once Leonard Fournette returns from a hamstring injury. They added Rashad Greene to the roster once again to replace Jaydon Mickens as the team’s punt returner.
No one saw the deal for Dareus coming, so why wouldn’t we think something may be brewing in the offices at TIAA Bank Field?
While obtaining another big running back appears out of the question, which means this team does not take a swing for Le’Veon Bell, there could be veterans that appeal to this organization. And the offense may not be the only side this team looks to get better. Outside linebacker is still in need of depth. D.J. Hayden has been injured and the team could look to find another nickel cornerback for depth.
San Francisco 49ers tackle Joe Staley may be a name the team thinks about. The veteran would provide a much-needed boost to the line. While Ereck Flowers was signed last week, I am not convinced he is the answer next to Andrew Norwell.
The team could also look at Deone Bucannon of the Arizona Cardinals. While Leon Jacobs has played well in his rookie season, Bucannon offers the team depth. The converted defensive back is a tackling machine with speed to match Myles Jack and Telvin Smith.
And while this seems out of the left field, could Jacksonville try to bring the tight end, Marcedes Lewis, back? The current Green Bay Packer has played in all six games but does not have a catch this season.
These possibilities may be long shots, but the Jaguars may need to do something to better their chances of making the postseason.