NFL Insider believes Jaguars have a championship caliber team
By David Levin
Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network believes the Jacksonville Jaguars have a “championship caliber team” heading into the 2019 season.
There will be changes to the Jacksonville Jaguars roster for the upcoming season, but that is not stopping Daniel Jeremiah from predicting this organization could make another run toward the Super Bowl.
The NFL Network insider spoke with Jaguars.com senior writer John Oehser on the subject. Even if the team loses key players in the locker room, Jeremiah believes there is still plenty of talent to overcome those offseason moves and challenge for greatness in 2019.
"“I think the nucleus of a championship roster is right there,” Jeremiah told jaguars.com while he was in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine."
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He could be right. The majority of the defense will return, with the only known player at the moment who will more than likely dress up for another team is Malik Jackson. Several reports over the weekend centered around the Jaguars trying to trade the big defensive tackle and running back Carlos Hyde before NFL free agency begins on March 13.
The trades would free up more cap space for the team, which is said to be the frontrunner to land Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles.
The news of both Calais Campbell and Marcell Dareus coming back this season, with the defensive stars willing to renegotiate their current deals to also free up cap space helps the Jaguars when dealing with the salary cap. Other players like A.J. Bouye and Tashaun Gipson may be asked to do the same thing before the free agency.
Losing Jackson on defense is bigger than some might think, but Jeremiah believes Campbell, along with Dareus, Bouye, Jalen Ramsey and Yannick Ngakoue will keep the defense strong.
The front office will use this offseason to find missing puzzle pieces to help the team on offense. That could include signing Foles and released much-maligned quarterback Blake Bortles. While he may not land a job as a starter, Bortles could have a few suitors as a valuable backup in this league.
Jeremiah likes the idea of the team once again using the running game as the main focus of the offense and the return of Leonard Fournette this coming season as well as a healthy offensive line. The lack of a running game and the loss of left tackle Cam Robinson in Week 3 of 2018 proved to be the start of a domino effect of injuries to the front five.
"“You have the foundation in place to be able to run the football offensively,” Jeremiah said."
With a veteran quarterback on board before the NFL Draft, the Jaguars can look to other areas of concern in the Draft. In Jeremiah’s most recent mock draft he has Jacksonville grabbing tackle Jawaan Taylor out of Florida to aid the run game and solidify the right side of the offensive line.
"“The Jaguars need to get back to their physical brand of football, and Taylor has the flexibility to play guard or tackle,” Jeremiah wrote."