Jacksonville Jaguars in position to win 2022 offseason
The Jacksonville Jaguars will soon check off another box when they announce their coaching staff. They will then take on the offseason at full gear. While they made some important additions to the roster last year, they weren’t nearly enough. Fortunately, the Jags have more than enough resources to make meaningful additions and even “win the offseason”.
Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report recently wrote about a handful of NFL teams that are in position to win the 2022 offseason and the Jaguars popped up on the list. Knox acknowledges that Jacksonville won’t experience a Bengals-like jump this year but believes that they can get considerably better. He notes that just like Cincy, the Jags have a promising quarterback in Trevor Lawrence. He also thinks that the addition of head coach Doug Pederson bodes well for the young signal-caller. Knox says that the next step is getting Lawrence a better supporting cast.
"Maintaining the current group shouldn’t be much of a priority, and tackle Cam Robinson and guard Andrew Norwell might be the only impending free agents Jacksonville is eager to keep. Improving the roster is doable. The Jaguars have the No. 1 pick, which could be used on a pass-rusher such as Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux or Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson. If the Jags decide not to keep Robinson, Alabama tackle Evan Neal might also be an option at No. 1. In free agency, the Jaguars will be armed with a projected $56.6 million in cap space. Jacksonville can afford to chase many of the top free agents, perhaps landing Lawrence a new top target in the form of Davante Adams or Chris Godwin."
The Jaguars will have the second most resources in the league this offseason, and they can’t afford to sit on them if they want to start winning games. While head coach Doug Pederson has acknowledged that there is no overnight fix for the struggles the Jags have endured over the last few years, the organization has enough assets to make meaningful changes right off the bat. Other teams that made Knox’s list were the Cincinnati Bengals, the Denver Broncos, the Los Angeles Chargers, the Miami Dolphins, the New York Jets, and the Philadelphia Eagles.
There are several steps the Jaguars must make this offseason to improve.
Keep in mind that winning the offseason doesn’t translate into regular-season success, so loading up in talent on just one of many steps the Jaguars will need to take to right the ship Having said that, re-signing left guard Andrew Norwell, and left tackle Cam Robinson should be a priority but the Jaguars will have options if they walk away in free agency.
The coaching staff could plug in Walker Little at left tackle or draft a potential replacement in Alabama’s Evan Neal or even Charlie Cross of Mississippi State. On the other hand, the team’s bass should also make the effort to bring back wide receiver DJ Chark this offseason even though he’s coming back from a fractured ankle he sustained in Week 4 of the 2021 season.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Jaguars need to add another pass rusher, which they can do in either free agency or the draft. They will have around $56 million in cap space, per Spotrac, at their disposal. That’s more than enough to secure the services of Chandlers Jones or Harold Landy. But if they prefer, they could use that surplus of cap money on other positions and select Aidan Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux with the first overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. Also, re-signing linebacker Damien Wilson and adding depth at cornerback should be on the team’s to-do list.
The Jaguars have a few solid building blocks in place, such as quarterback Trevor Lawrence and outside linebacker Josh Allen. But neither can win games by themselves and it’s up to the front office to make sure both are in a position to succeed. Making impact additions to the rosterthis offseason would certainly help.