Jaguars offseason: Was it smart to sign CB Shaquill Griffin in free agency?
The Jacksonville Jaguars made it a point of emphasis to revamp their secondary this offseason, and one of the biggest additions they made in free agency was Shaquill Griffin. Looking back, was it a good idea to sign the former Seattle Seahawks cornerback?
Chris Roling of Bleacher Report believes that signing Griffin was one of the worst decisions of 2021’s offseason. He believes that the cornerback comes with risk and “tasking him with being the veteran leading the charge is a tough sell” after his performance in Seattle.
Roling points out that the 2017 third-round pick has given up ten touchdowns in the last two years and wonders if the Jaguars could’ve saved money by taking a different route and signing someone like Mike Hilton or Xavier Rhodes. He adds that Griffin has been targeted at least 77 times in the last three years and thinks that team will continue throwing the ball in the cornerback’s direction at a high rate in 2021.
Did the Jacksonville Jaguars make a bad decision in retrospect?
It’s true that the Jaguars paid retail for Griffin and his three-year $ 44.5 million contract may not be proportional to his talent but looking back, this is something Jacksonville had to do. Last season, they ran out of healthy cornerbacks, and players such as undrafted rookie Luc Barcoo and Greb Mabin were forced into action with less-than-stellar results, so giving their cornerback room a makeover was a priority.
When you look at all the changes the Jags made to their cornerback group this offseason, there’s no doubt the unit is in better shape than it was in 2020. Besides signing Griffin and bringing back Sidney Jones, they used the 33rd pick of the 2021 NFL Draft to take Tyson Campbell.
You could argue there was no need to add Campbell after signing Griffin but the Jaguars lacked depth at cornerback last year and even though the unit looks ‘crowded’ at this moment, they now have a solid group that should be in good shape even if injuries strike again.
You could also question Jacksonville’s decision to invest so much in Griffin when there is so much talent at the position but the truth is that teams nowadays need more than just two starting cornerbacks and having five potential starters (C.J. Henderson, Tre Herndon, Jones, Griffin, and Campbell) isn’t a bad thing. Although the Jaguars may have made some questionable moves this offseason, signing Griffin wasn’t one of them.