The Jacksonville Jaguars are projected to have a league-high $82 million in cap space this offseason. They will be able to make a bid for any player they want and sign a couple of the big-name free agents in the open market. However, they should be picky when analyzing their options and refrain from pursuing a couple of offensive linemen.
The Las Vegas Raiders have told guard Gabe Jackson he will be released, per former ESPN insider Josina Anderson. By moving on from the Mississippi State product, the Silver and Black clear $9.6 million in cap space without a dead cap hit.
Jackson may not the be only Raiders offensive tackle available this offseason though. They also have had conversations about potentially trading right tackle Trent Brown, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. Due to the demand for his position, he could have a robust market for his services. However, Jacksonville should take a hard pass on both Jackson and Brown.
The Jacksonville Jaguars shouldn’t pursue Gabe Jackson nor Trent Brown.
The Jaguars already have a right guard in A.J. Cann and Jackson wouldn’t be much of an upgrade at the position. In fact, Cann is set to count $6.2 against the cap while Jackson would have made $9.6 million with the Raiders. It wouldn’t make much sense for the Jags to move on from Cann just to bring in Jackson. If this Jacksonville is really interested in upgrading the interior offensive line, they should target Joe Thuney instead.
On the other hand, if healthy, Brown is one of the most dominant right tackles in the NFL, helping the New England Patriots win a Super Bowl in 2018 and earning a Pro Bowl designation in 2019. However, he’s dealt with injuries the last couple of seasons as has missed 16 games in that span. Moreover, whoever trades for the Florida standout will take on his $14 million salary in 2021. That’s an exorbitant amount of money to pay someone who is really good but has availability red flags.
Simply, Brown is the high-risk, high-reward kind of decision the Jaguars shouldn’t be making right now and if they want to add a right tackle this offseason, they should make a play for Kelvin Beachum or Rick Wagner. Both of them will be available in the open market and the Jags won’t have to part ways with draft picks or extra compensation (like they would with Brown) to acquire them.
Jacksonville needs to upgrade their roster but they should avoid both Jackson and Brown. Although they could end up playing well in 2021, the Jaguars should let other teams deal with that. After all, they should be one of the most attractive destinations for free agents this offseason.