NFL free agency has officially begun and teams have already begun to offer contracts to some of the league’s biggest players. While the Jacksonville Jaguars were fairly quiet to start the legal tampering period, they have slowly been making big impact moves since. General manager Trent Baalke has the Jaguars on the right course.
I didn’t have full trust in Trent Baalke headed into the offseason but he has made solid moves for the Jaguars so far. His approach to building a contending roster is to draft for the future and build up depth through free agency, which is a similar approach we are seeing him take this year.
The Jaguars have acquired starters in cornerback Shaquill Griffin and defensive tackle Malcolm Brown. Baalke likely sees that their value is higher than drafting for either of these positions early in the 2021 NFL Draft. If they consider drafting either of these positions with the 25th overall pick, then there is more value in drafting an interior defensive lineman like Levi Onwuzurike or Christian Barmore. The only corner really worth drafting at pick 25 is Jaycee Horn out of South Carolina.
Jacksonville also agreed to terms with safeties Reyshawn Jenkins and Rudy Ford; defensive tackles Tyson Alualu and Roy Robertson-Harris; wide receivers Marvin Jones Jr. and Phillip Dorsett; running back Carlos Hyde, defensive end Jihad Ward, tight end Chris Manhertz, and return specialist Jamal Agnew. These additions add much-needed depth to the Jaguars roster— something they were crucially lacking last season.
Aside from going out and poaching the above players in free agency, the Jaguars also re-signed, tendered, or franchise-tagged the following players: Guard Tyler Shatley, offensive tackle Cam Robinson, cornerbacks Tre Herndon and Sidney Jones IV., and defensive end Dawuane Smoot.
Jaguars opt for quantity in free agency
So far, this has been a far better free agency period for the Jaguars than it was last season even if it doesn’t officially start for another hour. At this point, Jacksonville could still go after a veteran tight end, linebacker, and additional offensive lineman. It will be interesting to see how far Baalke goes when the free agency period officially begins.