From Jags to riches: Jaguars give the bank for WR Christian Kirk

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk (13) at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk (13) at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The Jacksonville Jaguars knew they needed to upgrade their wide receiver corps this offseason and with a limited number of options in free agency, they didn’t want to run the risk of failing to sign one, so they gave the bank for Christian Kirk.

Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL Media report that Jacksonville has agreed with Kirk to a four-year $72 million deal, which seems to be a bit excessive for a player that has never topped 1,000 yards in a season but from the get-go, they were targeting him, so the Jaguars’ brass put their best offer on the table from the very beginning.

A second-round pick by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2018 NFL Draft, Kirk has appeared in 56 games with 41 starts and has hauled in 236 receptions for 2,902 yards with 17 touchdowns. Last season, he caught a career-best 77 passes for 982 yards with five touchdowns. Also, he played 79 percent of his snaps in the slot, where he’s the most effective. Expect him to have a similar role in Jacksonville in 2022.

The Jaguars were running out of options to upgrade their WR corps.

The Jaguars need to acquire as many weapons as possible for Trevor Lawrence and with the market running out, they settle on Christian Kirk. While he could be an effective slot receiver, he isn’t as productive in the boundaries. The fact that they paid him an exorbitant $18 million per year makes this a less than optimal signing. Maybe if Jacksonville had paid him an annual average of $13 million — as Pro Football projected — this would have been a better move but at this moment, it feels like they overpaid for a wide receiver.

Having said that, the Jaguars haven’t been very good over the last four years, and with Michael Gallup, Chris Godwin, and Davante Adams returning to their respective teams, they had few options in free agency, which in turn forced them to overpay Kirk to sign with them. But getting past the final price tag, Kirk gives the Jaguars a deep threat, and if he can produce the way he did for the Cardinals in 2021, this could end up being a solid deal.

The Jaguars have been very active on the first day of the legal tampering period, having agreed to terms with linebacker Foyesade Oluokun and offensive guard Brandon Scherff. Moreover, they applied an original-round tender on safety Andrew Wingard and used the franchise tag on left tackle Cam Robinson last week. Keep in mind that even though this has been a hectic day for the team’s brass, they may not be done just yet.

Next. 5 free-agents the Jaguars can sign to address needs. dark