Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke has some tough decisions to make.
The Jacksonville Jaguars announced they have removed the interim tag from Trent Baalke’s job title and made them their general manager on a permanent basis. Now that the team has a head coach in Urban Meyer and a general manager in place. They can decide what they will do with their 14 unrestricted free agents. Which three should they re-sign? Let’s look at the top seven Jaguars’ free agents.
Wide receiver Keelan Cole turns 28 in April. He’s played in every game in his four-year career and this past year was his best statistically. He is a reliable player who can provide playmaking skills and depth at the position. He should be affordable and could help as a role model to the younger wide receivers.
Defensive end Adam Gotsis will turn 29 in September. The Georgia Tech product has been a backup and the Jaguars may be looking to upgrade. They have two young, talented, first-round draft picks in Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson. Keeping Gotsis as a backup shouldn’t be prohibitive.
Defensive tackle Abry Jones turns 30 in September. He has been a consistent backup on the defensive line and is solid against the run. He would not be expensive to re-sign, but the ‘Jags’ need to upgrade the defensive line, and especially the defensive tackle position. Look for the Jaguars to look elsewhere in free agency to improve the front four, but it’s not out of the question that they bring Jones back in his same role.
Left tackle Cam Robinson will turn 26 in October. This one is a hard question, as has shown the ability to play at a high level, but has also been very inconsistent. However, talented left tackles are in high demand in the NFL. The Jaguars have plenty of cap space available they need to decide if they want to spend it on an inconsistent player. If Robinson plays to his potential then the answer is yes, but he hasn’t consistently done it thus far in his career.
Offensive lineman Tyler Shatley will turn 30 in May. A reliable backup who can play both center and guard, and who draws few penalties when he’s in the lineup. Shatley should be an affordable option for the offensive line and one the Jaguars should consider re-signing.
Running back Chris Thompson will turn 31 in October. A career backup and role player, the Jaguars would be better off finding a younger option through free agency or maybe pick up someone in the draft.
Defensive end Dawuane Smoot will be 26 in March. Smoot is a young, consistent player even though he has been primarily a backup. He is a person of character and a solid performer. He has improved each year and should be affordable if the Jaguars are looking to keep him.