The Jacksonville Jaguars made plenty of additions on the first two days of the NFL’s legal tampering period but they also moved on from linebacker Myles Jack. However, Jack wasn’t without work for much time, as went on to sign a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers just one day after being released. The former UCLA Bruin met with Pittsburgh’s media not long after joining the Steelers and said that he “wants to win games“, via Nick Farabaugh of Steelers Now.
"At this point in my career, I just really want to win games. I want to be a part of something. I want to go home Sunday night and on Monday morning be happy. I’m eager to win. With that comes championships. There’s nothing else that can sell me to a team. I just want to win. That’s what I’m here to do."
During his six-year tenure as a member of the Jaguars, Jack experienced plenty of losing, so nobody should blame him for wanting to join the Steelers, who haven’t had a losing season since they hired Mike Tomlin as a head coach in 2007. The veteran linebacker had been a mainstay of the Jaguars’ defense since they made him a second-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. However, his play wasn’t proportional to the four-year $57 million contract extension he signed in 2019. Releasing him created $8.35 million in cap space with $4.8 million in dead money.
Even if Mitch Trubiski, who just signed a two-year deal, isn’t the long-term answer at quarterback, Tomlin will find a way to keep the Steelers afloat. It’s uncertain whether Jack will be able to win championships in Pittsburgh but there’s no doubt he will be in a more stable situation than the one he had in Jacksonville.
The Jaguars’ defense should be fine without Myles Jack.
Jack was one of the few bright spots on the Jaguars’ defense in the last few seasons but the truth is that his performance took a dip in 2021. He led the team in tackles with 107 but struggled in coverage and didn’t generate many big plays. There’s a chance Urban Meyer’s toxic culture affected him and he may bounce back in Pittsburgh, but even if he does, the Jags seemed to have gotten better in free agency as well.
The team’s brass signed linebacker Foyesade Oluokun to take Jack’s place in the starting lineup. They also got a starting cornerback in Darious Williams and a stout defensive tackle in Folorunso Fatukasi. Moreover, the Jags brought back safety Andrew Wingard and cornerback Tre Herndon.
Last season, the Jaguars’ defense ranked 20th in yards allowed and 28th in points scored. It was clear that upgrades were needed and general manager Trent Baalke got them in free agency.
Jack’s contributions in Jacksonville will never be forgotten and he should find success in Pittsburgh. But just like him, the Jaguars want to win games and they think they can do it without him, so a split might have been the best possible outcome for both parties.