Earlier this year, the Jacksonville Jaguars used the vast amount of cap space they had to address several roster needs. Now, signing players in the open market doesn’t translate into actual wins on the football field. Nevertheless, the free agency period offers teams the opportunity to fortify their roster and that’s precisely what the Jags did. They signed a few depth pieces and made a few splash signings.
It will be a while before the Jaguars find out if their free-agent signings pan out but Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report believes one of them was puzzling. In a recent article, he discussed every NFL team’s most overpaid player ahead of the 2021 season and he believes that Jacksonville overpaid for former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin. Knox thinks that the three-year, $40 million deal he signed isn’t proportional to his performance on the field.
Knox points out that Griffin ranks 12th in cornerbacks salary. He then goes on to say that he isn’t elite and cites a few stats to make his case. He notes the 2019 Pro Bowl has allowed 1,984 yards and 15 receiving touchdowns over the last three years. In the same span, he’s also given up a passer rating over 93.0. Although Knox believes that Griffin is not at fault for getting paid, he believes his compensation is going to be excessive.
"There’s no faulting Griffin for taking the money, and there’s no faulting Jacksonville for overpaying to improve the league’s 31st-ranked defense. However, Griffin is going to be excessively compensated for at least the next two years."
The Jacksonville Jaguars know what they’re getting in Shaquill Griffin.
The Jaguars were aware of the kind of player they got when they signed Griffin. They knew he’s not a shutdown cornerback, so it would be naive to expect him to perform at an elite level. The team’s brass needed to bolster their cornerback room. They believed that the 2017 third-round pick was the best option available and acted accordingly.
It’s true that Griffin is the 12th-highest-paid cornerback in the NFL but salaries are constantly evolving and his contract won’t look as exorbitant next year. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him fall out of the top 20 in 2022. Moreover, a player is worth whatever a team is willing to pay him in free agency. They have a short window of time to cash in and they need to maximize their earnings as much as possible.
The Jacksonville Jaguars could afford to pay Griffin this past offseason. If they thought it wasn’t worth it, they wouldn’t have signed him. Also, you can’t just judge the contract yet. If he ends up living up to the expectations, the Jags won’t regret investing in him. On the other hand, if he falls short, the team’s brass should definitely question the signing but they will cross that bridge when/if the time comes. In the meantime, it looks like they got a player that will help them stop opposing offenses from scoring at ease the way they did in 2020.