Jaguars could land TE Jesse James in free agency, per reports
By David Levin
The Jacksonville Jaguars are said to be “very interested” in obtaining tight end Jesse James in free agency, per Tony Pauline.
It appears the Pittsburgh Steelers are set to lose another one of their offensive weapons in free agency as it has been reported by Tony Pauline that the Jaguars are highly interested in obtaining tight end Jesse James.
The move could help Jacksonville, a team that will only have one tight end, Ben Koyack on the roster, once free agency begins on March 13.
"“Presently, I’m told that the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills are two teams very interested in James once he hits the open market,” Pauline said in his podcast."
Pauline made his comments on his recent podcast. The move would make sense since the tight end position was decimated by injuries last season. The Jaguars have already released Austin Seferian-Jenkins earlier in the week.
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The Jaguars may also explore adding players to the position through the NFL Draft in April. Noah Fant out of Iowa could be a target of this franchise if he is available in the second round.
Jesse James caught 30 passes for the Steelers for 423 yards and two touchdowns. He is certainly an upgrade at the position. The tight end could be a focal point in the passing game next season as new offensive coordinator John DiFilippo looks to find a balance with throwing the football and a ground attack that features Leonard Fournette.
No matter who is under center for the Jaguars, the passing game will dramatically change. Neither Blake Bortles or Cody Kessler could produce on offense as the Jaguars scored just over 15 points a game last season.
In addition to the release of Seferian-Jenkins who played in five games and caught 11 passes in 2018, the Jaguars could also lose Blake Bell and James O’Shaughnessy through free agency. O’Shaughnessy led the Jaguars tight ends with just 24 catches last season.
The Jaguars need playmakers on offense at virtually every position on that side of the ball. The team could use draft picks at quarterback, wide receiver, offensive line and potentially running back.
According to multiple reports, T.J. Hockenson of Iowa, Fant’s teammate, is regarded as the top tight end prospect in the NFL Draft. The Jaguars have more pressing needs, but should they trade down in the first round, he could be a consideration.
Going into his fifth season in the NFL, Jesse James played college football at Penn State where he was taken in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. He had a base salary of $1.9 million in 2018.