Jaguars begin their offseason workout program

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 18: A Jacksonville Jaguars helmet is seen at TIAA Bank Field on November 18, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 18: A Jacksonville Jaguars helmet is seen at TIAA Bank Field on November 18, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars got back to work on Monday as the team began its offseason workout program on Monday at TIAA Bank Field.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are back at it again. The team began its voluntary offseason workout program on Monday from TIAA Bank Field as the franchise looks to improve on a disappointing 2018 season.

If you are looking for the same kind of atmosphere as last season, you may be disappointed. The Jaguars have revamped their roster, made major changes on offense and said goodbye to key starters on defense from this time last year.

A little change could do this organization some good. You can make the argument after a 5-11 season and a total lack of offensive firepower, everyone on that side of the ball that remained on the current roster is under fire for 2019. The defense, although a top-five unit again last year, still has some kinks to work out and needs to play with more consistency.

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"Per John Reid of the Florida Times-Union, “The off-season program lasts nine weeks and is divided into three phases, but for the first two weeks, no on-field activity is allowed. The Jaguars’ first workout allowing 11-on-11 work is May 21. Their mandatory mini-camp is June 11-13, which will wrap up their off-season program.”"

As the Jaguars begin this new chapter in the team’s history – this is the 25th year of operation in the NFL – here are three storylines to follow the next few weeks.

Leonard Fournette – It’s been less than a week since Leonard Fournette was arrested for knowingly driving with a suspended license and was subsequently released from the Duval County Jail shortly thereafter. Other than an initial statement by the Jaguars that they were gathering information about the situation, nothing has been said by the franchise.

Will something be done or said now that the team he’s back inside TIAA Bank Field? And, what does his most recent transgression mean for Fournette and his relationship with the team?

The Jaguars invested free agent money in both Benny Cunningham and Alfred Blue this offseason. Blue is a dependable runner who could prove to be invaluable back up to Fournette but may not be “the guy” who could start on a regular basis. Cunningham should help the team on third down and on special teams.

With Fournette’s injury history a major topic last year and this off-season, do the Jaguars seek another running back at some point next week in the NFL draft?

A deal for Yannick Ngakoue – The Jaguars have already announced they will pick up the fifth-year option for cornerback Jalen Ramsey. That means Ramsey, who is in the final year of his rookie deal, will be in black and teal for at least the next two seasons.

What has not been talked about is whether the team will offer Yannick Ngakoue, the team’s left defensive end, a new deal during the season.

Ngakoue, who was a third-round pick out of Maryland in 2016, the same draft class that Ramsey was in, does not have a fifth-year option to his contract. The Jaguars would make a big mistake by not coming to terms with one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL before he is allowed to test free agency.

He and Calais Campbell form one of the best pass-rushing duos in the NFL.

I’m curious to see what kind of contract can be worked out given what happened between the Dallas Cowboys and defensive and Demarcus Lawrence in recent weeks (5 years and $105 million).

Ngakoue has said he wants to become more of a leader in the locker room and on the field this season. Having Campbell as a mentor has helped to shape his young NFL career. If he is successful in improving on 9.5 sacks from last season and can show more leadership ability for this organization, inking him to a new deal may happen sooner rather than later.

The legend of Nick Foles – If you haven’t heard, there’s a new quarterback in the building. The Jaguars signed Nick Foles this off-season to a four-year $88 million contract to hopefully bring this team back to prominence and solidify the most important position on the football field.

While Foles is definitely an upgrade from what the Jaguars have had under center, there are still some questions he must answer. Can he work his magic for 16 games? Foles has played his best football in the game’s most critical moments. New offensive coordinator John DiFilippo, who is familiar with his signal caller, will need to create a game plan that plays two Foles’ strengths.

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Also, as a whole, the weapons that force has to work with are not as dynamic as the ones he had in Philadelphia. If familiarity means something, then having Chris Conley on the roster. The two played together in Kansas City. This could pay off handsomely. Also having Marqise Lee back from injury could make a big difference with this wide receiver group.