What kind of vibes are you getting with the moves the Jacksonville Jaguars have made in free agency? Does this offseason give you a renewed sense of optimism? One could argue that this happens year in and year out. Fans feel like they are let down time and time again and earlier this year, hiring Doug Pederson didn’t look like a move the Jags would take. For some time, I thought that the team was going to pursue Byron Leftwich to be the next head coach. But in the end, some moves that didn’t seem originally likely ended up happening. Similarly, others that had a good chance of taking place didn’t.
Speculations were that the Jaguars were going to hire a vice president of football operations and former Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman was linked to the job at some point. Nevertheless, owner Shad Khan has already said that the team will continue to operate without an EVP until further notice.
On the other hand, general manager Trent Baalke remains in place. There was a fear that he would cycle through another head coach and he ultimately did. Adrian Wilson seemed like he was going to be a part of the front office in some fashion and his addition would have surely pleased the fan base.
After all, accountability from the front office has been missing for quite some time. But based on all the moves the Jaguars have made so far, I would say that this year is giving me some certainty that this will be the beginning of something good.
Has the Jaguars’ front office made the right moves?
One could argue that the Jags are overpaying for the free-agent talent that signed. But I for one am okay with the moves that happened. Jacksonville is still lacking in a few areas that include tight end, a bonafide wide receiver, and depth at the running back position. Then again, Trent Baalke said that he doesn’t want to have reliance on free agency to build the team. This is a vision that I would support because you need to keep signing the talent that you are developing. Getting players that want to stay and sign a second contract.
There’s no doubt that a proven free agent can boost the team in a time of need but it isn’t a sustainable model to build a team that way. Think of the Los Angeles Rams. They are putting themselves in financial trouble down the road. They didn’t draft well and were more than willing to trade away picks to build the team. Although they just won a Super Bowl, it’s fair to wonder when all the spending they’ve done will catch up to them.
On the bright side, the Jaguars will enter the 2022 NFL Draft with more than 10 picks and they could get even more. They should try to trade down and amass a few more selections to build depth. This year’s draft classes show depth at a lot of positions. Teams can get quality players in most rounds.
What are your feelings for this upcoming season? It would be a shock if there aren’t significant improvements for the Jags this year. Can the Jaguars draft well enough to make an impact this year? Fielding a team that is competitive is something that I am looking forward to.