The Los Angeles Rams are playing in their second Super Bowl in the last four years while the Jacksonville Jaguars are… whelp, watching them take on the Cincinnati Bengals from home. On the bright side, the Jags are trying to make meaningful changes to the organization after winning just three games in 2021 and 15 over the last four seasons.
The most meaningful move the Jaguars made this offseason was hiring Doug Pederson as their head coach. Back in 2017, Pederson led the Philadelphia Eagles to the first Super Bowl victory in franchise history, so it’s clear he knows how to win. Having said that, it wouldn’t hurt to look at some of the things the Rams have done in recent years to achieve sustained success. In particular, Jacksonville needs to keep these three in mind.
No.1 lesson the Jaguars can learn from the Rams – Pay your best players.
How many big contracts have the Jags handed over the last three years? Better yet, how many difference-makers have they either traded or released? The Jags currently have a few building blocks on the roster but not nearly enough. Otherwise, they would’ve won more than three games in 2021. On the other hand, the Rams aren’t afraid to pay their franchise players market value even if the investment doesn’t pay off like in running back Todd Gurley’s and quarterback Jared Goff’s case.
Nevertheless, Los Angeles knew they had an elite defensive tackle in Aaron Donald and paid him as such. The same is true for wide receiver Cooper Kupp. As soon as he started showing signs of greatness, the Rams gave him a three-year deal worth nearly $50 million. Meanwhile, the Jags traded defensive Calais Campbell as soon as he made it be known he wanted a contract extension.
Something similar happened with edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue. Instead of making him feel wanted, the organization alienated him and sent him to the Minnesota Vikings before the start of the 2020 season.
The Jaguars need to stop alienating their franchise players and must do what’s necessary to keep them. Re-signing wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. and giving outside linebacker Josh Allen a multi-year deal would be a good start.