Why Jacksonville Jaguars should pursue OT Rick Wagner
The Jacksonville Jaguars need to upgrade the left tackle position but they also need to add depth to their offensive line. The Green Bay Packers recently released right tackle Rick Wagner, who is now free to sign with any team. It would make sense for the Jags to target him.
The Packers announced they moved on from Wagner and linebacker Christian Kirksey. By releasing both, they freed up nearly $9 million in cap space. Wagner signed a two-year $11 million contract last offseason and appeared in all 16 games, starting nine and playing on 59 percent of the team’s total snaps on offense in 2020. On 352 pass-block snaps, he only gave up one sack and one hit and earned a 76.3 Pro Football Focus grade.
A fifth-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2013, he signed a five-year $47.5 million contract with the Detriot Lions in 2017 but just played with them for three seasons and was released last season. Over his eight-year career, the Wisconsin product has played in 118 games and started 96.
Why it would make sense for the Jacksonville Jaguars to sign Rick Wagner.
The Jaguars have a promising young tackle in Jawaan Taylor. A second-round pick in 2019, Taylor had a solid rookie season before taking a step back in 2020. On 718 pass-block snaps, he allowed eight sacks, six hurries, and 58 total pressures.
Regardless of the reason for Taylor’s drop in performance, Jacksonville should err on the side of caution and bring in someone to push the Florida product. Wagner could compete with Taylor for the starting right tackle job and whoever loses the battler could be the team’s primary backup at the position.
Signing Wagner wouldn’t be expensive and would probably get less than the $.5.5 million per year he got from the Packers in 2020. The Jaguars could offer him a two-year deal and add a potential starter and depth to their offensive line in the process.
As important as it will be for the Jaguars to bring in a few playmakers this offseason, they can’t forget to add depth to their roster, and signing Wagner would be an under-the-radar move that could have a positive impact this upcoming season.