This is going to be a hectic offseason for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jacksonville Jaguars enter the offseason with multiple roster needs but the most cap space of any team in the NFL, so look for them to be active in this upcoming free agency period, which will offer some enticing options.
The Jaguars are set to have $73.23 million in cap space, per Over the Cap, so there are many routes they can take on free agency. They could target big-time players or add depth. Which path they want to take, they will have enough cap space to make the moves they want.
After quarterback, the ‘Jags’ have three positions that need to be addressed: Defensive tackle, tight end, and safety. Which positions should take precedence in free agency is directly related to how deep and strong those positions are in the NFL draft. Let’s take a look.
Here are some ways the Jacksonville Jaguars can approach free agency.
1. Defensive tackle
Since defensive tackle is probably the second-highest priority, it’s will be interesting to see who’s going to be available in the selection meeting. This defensive tackle class isn’t very strong, and there is really only one player listed as a first-round possibility – Christian Barmore from Alabama.
A redshirt sophomore, Barmore is seen as a better pass-rusher than run-stopper, and the Jaguars need someone who can stop the run. It’s not likely they’ll find their answer early in the draft, so look for the Jaguars to make a splash with a top defensive tackle signing in free agency.
Possible targets: Adam Butler of New England, Sheldon Rankins of New Orleans, and Austin Johnson from the Giants.
2. Tight end
The Jaguars’ next priority is tight end. This is another position that is not strong in this year’s draft, with Kyle Pitts of Florida being the only potential first-round talent. He is being projected in the top 20, and possibly the top ten. Unless he falls to the later part of the first-round, this Jacksonville team will not have a shot at him.
If Trask does drop toward the 20th pick, the Jaguars need to make a serious trade offer to move up if they want the chance to take him. Tight end is another position where the Jaguars might make a move in free agency. Those are really their only two options to make a significant upgrade at a position that has been sorely lacking for the franchise for pretty much its entire existence.
Possible targets: Hunter Henry of the Los Angeles Chargers, Jonnu Smith of the Tennessee Titans, who is a Jacksonville native, and Gerald Everett of the Rams.
Next comes safety. It looks like the Jaguars aren’t going to have great draft choices here either. Although there are a number of players to pick from, none are projected any higher than late first-round or early second.
Fortunately, the Jaguars have three picks in that range so they should be able to select a player whose projection matches their draft position. On the other hand, if they look for a safety in free agency, possible targets include Anthony Harris from Minnesota, Justin Simmons from Denver, and Jaquiski Tartt of San Francisco.