Jaguars got a bargain in wide receiver Marvin Jones

Marvin Jones Jr. #11 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Marvin Jones Jr. #11 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t go into a shopping spree this offseason but they still signed a few difference-makers, including former Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones.

NFL teams are an interesting bunch. On one hand, they don’t mind throwing money at big-name free agents. Nevertheless, they will cut corners and will try to ball others whenever possible. Playmakers such as Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald rightly deserve premium compensation. On the other hand, there are other players that aren’t nearly as great but should still earn top dollar and are underpaid when you compare their salary to their production.

Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus recently ranked the top 32 player contracts in the NFL, and no Jaguar made the list. There are some really good bargains such as tight end Darrell Waller’s four-year, $29.8 million deal, safety Anthony Harris’ one-year contract worth $4 million, and wide receiver Davante Adams’ four-year $58 million deal. Nevertheless, wide receiver Marvin Jones‘ two-year, $14.5 million contract should have made the cut.

Former Jaguars defensive tackle Tayson Alualu almost made the list. The 2010 first-round pick played seven years in Jacksonville before joining the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017. He almost returned to Duval this offseason but he tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this year and stayed put in Pittsburgh. Spielberger says Alualu has had a late-career resurgence and believes the two-year $5.5 million deal he signed this offseason is a bargain.

The Jacksonville Jaguars got value when they signed Marvin Jones.

Jones isn’t an upper-echelon wideout but he’s a reliable target that has scored 32 touchdowns over the last four seasons. Although the 2012 fifth-round pick has only posted one 1,000-yard season in his eight-year career, he’s been a solid number two anywhere he’s played. Last season, he appeared in all 16 games and hauled in 76 receptions for 978 yards and nine touchdowns. The Jags would surely welcome that kind of production in 2021.

The Jags had enough cap space to pursue Kenny Golladay or Allen Robinson in free agency. The former was the top receiver in Detroit when he was healthy and the latter is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Nevertheless, signing either one would have been considerably more expensive than Jones, who offers more bang for his buck.

Jones will join a wide receiver corps that already includes DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault Jr, so he may not have a 1,000-yard season in 2021. That won’t matter, as long as he can move the chains every now and then a become a trustworthy target for rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence, he will have lived up to expectations.

Instead of buying the best team money could get in free agency, the Jaguars made a few calculated signings that will make an impact this upcoming season. Jones’ name won’t show up on the list of the best wide receivers in the NFL but he will be very valuable in Jacksonville, especially when you take into consideration how much money he will be making.

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