Re-signing Tyler Shatley shows Jaguars’ commitment to fortifying trenches

Jacksonville Jaguars center Tyler Shatley (69) at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars center Tyler Shatley (69) at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

The Jacksonville Jaguars have many tough decisions to make this offseason but they can at least check off one box from their to-do list after re-signing interior offensive lineman Tyler Shatley. Tom Pelissero of NFL Media first broke the news and the team announced the move not long after.

After going undrafted in 2014, Shatley signed with the Jaguars and you could say that things have worked out pretty well for him, as he’s spent his whole eight-year career in Jacksonville and has participated in 111 games with 33 starts, 18 of those over the last two seasons. Pelissero announced that Shatley’s new contract is for two years and it’s worth up to $6.8 million, including $2.35 million guaranteed.

All things considered, that seems like a fair deal, especially when you take into account that starting center Brandon Linder has dealt with a series of injuries over the last two years and Shatley could step in his place at any time. Moreover, Shatley could be a stop-gap option if the Jaguars’ brass either moves on from Linder this offseason or opts to let him walk next year, when he’s scheduled to become a free agent.

Either way, the Jaguars are showing they don’t want to be caught off guard and want to be ready if injuries hit them in 2022. Shatley is a valuable player with the flexibility to line up anywhere in the interior offensive line, and the front office thought enough of him that they decided to bring him back.

The Jaguars are making their offensive line a priority this offseason.

Re-signing Shatley was a smart move but the Jaguars aren’t done addressing their offensive line. In fact, they’re just getting started. Next, they will need to decide what to do with left tackle Cam Robinson. Will they give him a long-term deal? Will they use the franchise tag on him for the second consecutive team or will they let him test the market?

Starting offensive guards Andrew Norwell and A.J. Cann are also slated to become free agents and the Jags need to decide whether they want to bring both, one or neither of them back. The Jaguars will have several enticing options in free agency, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see the front office let both Norwell and Cann walk in order to pursue someone like Brandon Scherff or Austin Corbett, who just won a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.

Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson made it clear not long ago that he believes “games are won and lost in the trenches“, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see the team make a heavy investment in their offensive line in both free agency and the draft.

Building around Trevor Lawrence should be the Jaguars’ brass this offseason. As important as it is to get him weapons, they also need to make sure he has optimal protection up front. After all, he can’t connect with his receivers if he doesn’t have enough time to find them. Shatley was the first of many dominoes, let’s see what the Jaguars do next to bolster their offensive line.

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