Jaguars GM must make the right moves this offseason

Team general manager David Caldwell (L) chats with Shahid Khan, the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium on December 28, 2014 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Team general manager David Caldwell (L) chats with Shahid Khan, the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium on December 28, 2014 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) /

Can Jaguars GM David Caldwell lead this franchise back to its winning ways from 2017 or face uncertainty once again?

Getting defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to sign a deal with the Jaguars might be harder than general manager David Caldwell thinks. While he told the media last week that bringing back one of the cornerstones of the team’s defense is the top priority of the organization at the moment.

After a four-year deal was offered to Ngakoue prior to the start of training camp that was turned away by the player and his agent, the Jaguars are now in limbo, hoping to make the right move that will keep the former third-round pick in a Jaguars uniform for the next five seasons.
How much it will take to do that is still not known.

"“I think you guys all know in this room how both Doug [Marrone] and I feel about Yannick [Ngakoue] through our conversations over the years, he said at his press conference with head coach Doug Marrone on Dec. 31.More from Jacksonville Jaguars NewsJacksonville Jaguars should welcome Derrick Henry into the kingdomJaguars Rumors: Trent Baalke seems to be getting respect nowJaguars News: This division rival might be making a big moveFormer Jacksonville Jaguars S Johnathan Cyprien: “New Profession, Same Standards”Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram officially gets the franchise tag: 3 takeaways“He’s a tremendous player, he’s an even better person. How he handled his business this year was tremendous, but I would say that’s priority number one, to make sure that he comes back to Jacksonville and [that] he’s a Jacksonville Jaguar, so hopefully we can get that done where he’s here for a long period of time.”"

Caldwell is back in the saddle once again for an eighth season as the man who has to make the right moves to get this franchise back to its 2017 form. With salary cap issues on the horizon, decisions to be made about veteran players and which free agents and potential rookies will the team pursue.

If Caldwell was under fire with the last seven seasons of which only one of them produced a playoff team, then the seat he sits in right now is ultra-hot.

There is a laundry list of things the Jaguars need to get done before April and time is certainly not on their side. The Ngakoue situation is just part of the repair of a franchise that seems to be fractured with the majority of the blame being placed on former executive vice-president of football operations, Tom Coughlin. While there is culpability on everyone inside the building at TIA Bank Field, the organization must move forward with Caldwell takin the reins and proving to owner Shad Khan and the fans here in town he can build a winner.

It still may not happen this coming season.

The Jaguars have holes to fill at several spots on the offensive line (potentially three), on the interior of the defensive line (both tackles), at linebacker (two with one out of position) and at least one in the secondary (praying that Jeff Okudah is available with the ninth pick).

There are other needs as well with another wide receiver in the passing game, another backup running back to add to the group and then there is the tight end position, that was wiped away from the game plan offensive coordinator John DeFilippo installed.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it also seems the Jaguars cannot be built in eight years. Even if Caldwell makes better chess moves and Marrone is able to improve the team’s record, it may not be enough to spare jobs within TIAA Bank. For those reasons alone, Caldwell must make the right decisions now, starting with Ngakoue and ending with the best draft class he has had in his tenure in Jacksonville.

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