Jacksonville Jaguars: Weighing options at TE heading into free agency

Penn State TE Pat Freiermuth #87 (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
Penn State TE Pat Freiermuth #87 (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Jonnu Smith #81 (Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars can sign one of the best tight ends in free agency.

Free agency will be the easiest way for the Jaguars to upgrade the tight end room. They have to eliminate the guesswork that comes with scouting prospects and their front office can gather enough data of what players can do in the pros.

This year, the Jaguars will have a shot at signing either Hunter Henry or Jonnu Smith, the top two free-agent tight ends. They have a vast amount of cap space even after slapping the franchise tag on Cam Robinson and re-signing offensive lineman Tyler Shatley and cornerback Tre Hernon.

However, neither of them is top tight end and Henry has talked ruled out staying with the Los Angeles Chargers. Let’s say he hits the open market, both he and Smith could certainly be upgrades but the Jags have to decide if they want to pay retail to sign above-average, not great, talent. There will be other cheaper alternatives in the open market, such as Gerald Everett and Jared Cook, so Jacksonville’s options won’t be restricted to Smith or Henry.

On the other hand, Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus gives this year’s tight-end free-agent class a “C+” and says that outside of Henry of Smith, there’s aren’t many enticing options.