Jaguars show commitment to solidifying D-Line early in free agency
Not long ago, Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer said that solidifying the defensive front and bolstering the secondary would be priorities this offseason. Although the Jags haven’t made any splash signings and have opted to add depth on the first day of the legal tampering period, they have indeed fortified the defensive line.
Although free agency hasn’t officially started, teams can reach agreements with players and that’s precisely what the Jaguars did when they agreed to a three-year deal worth up to $21 million with former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Roy Robertson-Harris. Moreover, they re-signed defensive end Dawuane Smoot to a two-year $14 million deal.
Robertson-Harris will join the Jaguars’ defensive line rotation and could compete for a starting job. He only played more than 34 percent of Chicago’s total snaps on defense just once over his four-year career but he could see his role increase in Jacksonville. On the other hand, Dawuane Smoot could play a complementary role with defensive end Josh Allen returning from a knee injury and sophomore K’Lavon Chaisson possibly taking the next step in his development.
What are the Jacksonville Jaguars doing in the dawn of free agency?
As important as bringing back Smoot and signing Robertson-Harris is, you probably expected the Jaguars to make an impact signing on the first day of the legal tampering period. Maybe you wanted them to sign defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson or defensive end Romeo Okwara but they have already joined other clubs.
While it may be frustrating to see other teams aggressively pursue playmakers in the open market, keep in mind this is the dawn of free agency and there’s still plenty of time for them to make a couple of meaningful additions. Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins is still available at the time of writing and so is Lawrence Guy, so there’s a chance the Jags keep beefing up their defensive front.
Even though ‘winning’ free agency rarely translates into winning Super Bowl rings, don’t be surprised if the Jags go off script and make a couple of big-name signings this offseason. They already started making changes and it’s unlikely they are done.