How much should Jacksonville Jaguars really spend in free agency?

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer(Imagn Images photo pool)
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer(Imagn Images photo pool) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars have been busy recently, placing the franchise tag on Cam Robinson and re-signing cornerback Tre Herndon and offensive lineman Tyler Shatley but even after locking up this trio, they will have a vast amount of cap space to be active in the free-agent market. That doesn’t mean they should use all of it though.

Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus sees the Jaguars as one of five NFL teams that should spend big in free agency. He argues that assuming the Jaguars end up drafting Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence as widely expected, they will need to surround him with as much talent as possible. He points out that teams normally wait for their quarterbacks to show they can play at a high level before building around the player.

Nevertheless, Monson thinks that Lawrence’s potential to turn the franchise around convince Jacksonville to bypass this approach and start adding playmakers now. He sees the Jags’ decision to franchise Robinson as the first step into overspending to lure players this offseason and then suggests Jacksonville target Kenny Golladay to round out a wide receiver corps that includes Laviska Shenault Jr. and DJ Chark Jr.

Should the Jacksonville Jaguars go all in?

The Jaguars had around $67.5 million in cap space after slapping Robinson with the tag and that number should go down a bit after re-signing Herndon and Shatley. However, they will still be able to pursue any player they want without any budget constraints.

Head coach Urban Meyer recently talked about solidifying the defensive front and revamping the secondary, so the Jaguars will likely address those two areas in free agency. Players like defensive end Trey Hendrickson or safety Anthony Harris but become playmakers for the Jaguars, but they will command top-market compensation in free agency.

Jacksonville could easily afford to make two splash signings in free agency but it’s uncertain the team’s brass is willing to spend close to $30 million in just two players. After all, general manager Trent Baalke said in a recent sit-down with the local media that they are looking for value. On the other hand, the Jaguars can’t just pass up potential signings just because they exceed their budget. They should certainly look for value but if they need to lay out money to make an impact addition, they shouldn’t spare any expenses.

The one thing the Jaguars can’t afford to do this is to stay put the way they did last offseason. Other than linebacker Joe Schobert, the closest the Jaguars made to an impact signing was tight end Tyler Eifert and he’s no longer with the team. Although the Jaguars’ inactivity in the open market wasn’t the sole reason they finished 1-15 in 2020, it certainly played a role and if they don’t want to go through the same alley once again, they have to make the most of this free agency period.

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