4 things Jaguars can learn from Bengals’ historic rebuild
By Jack McCoy
3. The Jaguars must spend nicely in free agency.
The Bengals defense has been playing incredible football, and the unit is a key reason why the team will be playing in the Super Bowl. Safety Von Bell, defensive lineman DJ Reader, cornerback Mike Hilton, safety Chidobe Awuzie, and defensive end Trey Hendrickson are all impact players on this Bengals defense.
With the exception of Hendrickson, all those defenders were all undervalued assets that Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin believed could play above expectations. Cincinnati’s defense is well-coached, versatile, and lacks a real weakness, giving the offense more chances to score by generating stops.
Jacksonville has the cap space to improve the defense a considerable amount, and the right signings could allow this to manifest as early as next year. EDGE Chandler Jones, safety Marcus Maye, linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, and defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi are value options for the Jaguars must consider this offseason.
It’s worth noting that this is the method the Jags used in 2017 to improve quickly. That year, their dominant defense was comprised nearly entirely of free-agent signings such as defensive end Calais Campbell, cornerback AJ Bouye, and defensive tackle Malik Jackson. While the front office shouldn’t sign any big-name player in free agency, they should use some of their cap space to acquire one or two difference-makers.