Jacksonville Jaguars: Three big questions about the 2019 roster

Tashaun Gipson, Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Tashaun Gipson, Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

NFL free agency begins in a little over two weeks for the Jacksonville Jaguars. How will the team handle these three burning questions moving forward?

Sixteen days and counting for the Jacksonville Jaguars and NFL free agency.

The weather outside cannot decide whether it wants to leap into spring or tease us with cooler temperatures, but that doesn’t mean things aren’t heating up down at TIAA Bank Field as the Jaguars prepare for a flurry of activity that could include a roster that looks significantly different than it did just two months ago.

With players set to leave the organization or re-sign new deals to help this franchise recommit itself to reaching the playoffs, there should be plenty to talk about from now until the end of the year. Yes, there is little rest for the Jaguars front office or those who cover it on a daily basis.

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The team has already made a few significant moves with the re-signing of both safety Jarrod Wilson and kicker Josh Lambo and then picking up the 2019 option for Calais Campbell. Determining who might get an extension before the start of free agency is anyone’s guess right now. Also, the team must decide which high-priced veterans will be asked to restructure their contracts or become a cap casualty.

This is when things become interesting as the makeup of this roster will take shape long before the Jaguars head to the NFL Draft in Nashville at the end of next month.

I am purposely going to take the issues at quarterback out of the mix here and focus on other topics that are just as important to Jacksonville’s success in 2019.

These are three questions the team must answer before the start of free agency March 13.

How many offensive linemen return? – The Jaguars could have a solid left side of the line with Cam Robinson returning at left tackle and left guard Andrew Norwell starting his second season in Jacksonville at left guard. Both were injured last season.

Center Brandon Linder also suffered a season-ending injury. If all three are back at full speed, it’s one less issue to worry about for head coach Doug Marrone. The right side of the line is another issue as is depth across the board.

A.J. Cann figures to leave. Jermey Parnell more than likely will become a cap casualty. Then the organization must decide if Tyler Shatley, Chris Reed, Josh Wells, Josh Walker and Ereck Flowers will return. It’s a lot to take in as the offensive line could have as many as five or six new faces this coming season.

Will the team seek speed at wide receiver? – It’s a question we must ask. This unit was a huge disappointment in 2018, and it had nothing to do with the injury to Marqise Lee prior to the start of the season.

For the $9.6 million Donte Moncrief made last season, he proved to be just a guy. He won’t return. Rashad Greene is also a free agent and likely won’t return. Can the Jaguars use cap space to lure an outside threat to North Florida, or will the organization seek help in the Draft?

My guess is the team does both.

Will the team address defensive depth? – While the majority of this defense should remain intact, that does not mean there aren’t needs at all three of the units on the roster.

If the team parts with defensive tackle Malik Jackson and possibly Marcell Dareus, the defensive line now becomes a position of need. Will they find an inexpensive interior lineman? Do the Jaguars need one more pass rusher?

The linebacker position is still a weakness in my option and must be fortified. Free agency might be the best route but who wil come in as a mid-level player and overperform for Todd Wash this coming season.

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The secondary will need more depth, especially if safety Tashaun Gipson is released if he does not take a pay cut.