Jacksonville Jaguars: Free Agent Tackles to Target

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 01: Brandon Linder #65 of the Jacksonville Jaguars prepares to hike the ball in the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at TIAA Bank Field on December 01, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 01: Brandon Linder #65 of the Jacksonville Jaguars prepares to hike the ball in the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at TIAA Bank Field on December 01, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars must hit a home run with additions to their offensive line in free agency this coming March.

Former Jacksonville Jaguars Executive Vice-President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin had a formula that proved successful with the New York Giants that led to two Super Bowl titles in five seasons. He built strong offensive and defensive lines, adding multiple players to each side of the ball through free agency and the NFL Draft.

While this formula had been successful in Jacksonville in both 2017 and 2018 on the defensive side of the ball, injuries, attrition, and players who did not fit the team’s scheme led to a free-fall for the once-proud defenders of DUUUVAL.

The offensive line continued to prove to be an Achilles heel, with a lack of discipline that led to too many penalties and a lack of continuity. While the line as a unit lacked development, the left side appeared to be the worst for wear with plenty of questions asked of tackle Cam Robinson and guard Andrew Norwell.

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While it is unlikely both players will leave the roster this offseason, the front office will surely look for more depth and their eventual replacements.

The Jaguars don’t know what kind of cap space they will have come the middle of March, but you can be sure there will be money freed from roster releases and/or contract renegotiations. The defensive interior is considered the top need this offseason, but this offensive line is as close a second as there is. I suspect the front office will look to address both areas in free agency and the NFL Draft.

If Jacksonville looks to add a tackle to compete with Robinson this offseason, or even replace him in the starting lineup, here are a few names to consider.

D.J. Humphries

The former Florida Gators standout is hitting the open market unless he and the Arizona Cardinals can work out a contract extension. The Jaguars should be in the hunt for Humphries because of his age, (26) and his improved play over the years.

The thought of having D.J. Humphries and Jawaan Taylor as bookends should have members of Gator Nation salivating.

What could be hindering a “Florida Reunion” is what it might cost to bring Humphries back to the state.

"Per Seth Cox of SB Nation, “Spotrac.com, the salary cap based website for all sports, but especially the NFL has projected Humphries market value heading into this offseason.They predict a contract around five years and $70.5 million for Humphries, good for an average per year of $14.1 million… That would make Humphries the fourth highest-paid left tackle in the NFL.”"

The Jaguars have many needs to fill and they overpaid for Norwell, who has not panned out.

 Jack Conklin

I would love this move for many reasons. First, the Jaguars would be getting one solid young tackle to add to their struggling line. The second would be the team takes a key part of the Tennessee Titans line away from Nashville creating a hole in their run blocking scheme.

I never said I wasn’t ruthless in my desire to see the Jaguars win football games.

Jack Conklin was one of the reasons Derrick Henry ran to daylight in the second half of the 2019 season and was so explosive in the playoffs. He has an aggressive streak and like Humphries, is 26 and entering his prime in the league.

Something else to think about is that Conklin plays on the right side in the Titans scheme. How comfortable would he be moving over to the left side to play and would he be just as effective for the Jaguars?

As Crissy Froyd of Titans Wire wrote, there is a lot to like about the way he plays.

"“Conklin’s 78.3 overall Pro Football Focus grade placed him at 12th among tackles in 2019.The 25-year-old also recorded the fifth-highest run-blocking grade – 81.0 – among the league’s tackles, the sixth-best tackle on zone runs and 14th on gap runs — a big part of propelling running back Derrick Henry to holding the 2019 NFL rushing title,” she adds."

Anthony Costanzo

Another one of those players who plays with the division. Signing him from the Indianapolis Colts makes a rival weaker and certainly affects one of the better offensive lines in the NFL. Costanzo is a bit older at 31, but he is certainly worth the look.

Anthony Castonzo was the team’s first-round pick in 2011. He would certainly help anchor a line that needs discipline and a leader.

What does help the Jaguars in trying to sign Costanzo is his potential contract. He had a base salary of $6.25 million and a cap number with bonuses of $11 million.

If the Jaguars are looking to add more than one offensive lineman in free agency, they could still afford to add Costanzo at a higher rate and bring in another body to provide depth.

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Per Broncos Wire, Costanzo is listed as the 11th-ranked tackle coming out in this year’s free agency class.