5 free agents Jaguars should be praised for ignoring

A Jacksonville Jaguars fan at TIAA Bank Field (Photo by Logan Bowles/Getty Images)
A Jacksonville Jaguars fan at TIAA Bank Field (Photo by Logan Bowles/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett (96) at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 4 player the Jaguars avoided in free agency – Derek Barnett, DE.

The Jaguars revamped several position groups in free agency but they have refrained from adding a pass rusher. While they brought in former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arden Key for a visit, he left without a contract, and the truth is that they may not add anyone because they’re probably waiting for the draft to take Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson — or Georgia’s Travon Walker? — with the top pick in the 2022 draft.

Jacksonville could have certainly used Von Miller, who joined the Buffalo Bills, or Chandler Jones, who landed with the Las Vegas Raiders. Jadeveon Clowney is still available but there are no signs the Jags will pursue him. While all these edge defenders could improve their pass rush, it’s a good thing they avoided defensive end Derek Barnett, who returned to the Philadelphia Eagles on a two-year deal.

So far, Barnett’s career has been uneventful. He did scoop the game-winning fumble in the last seconds of Super Bowl 52 but he hasn’t turned into the game-wrecker Philly thought they were getting when they made him the 14th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Throughout his five-year career, Barnett logged just 21.5 sacks, 147 total tackles, and three forced fumbles. To make matters worse, he’s had more penalties (26) than sacks, and many of them helped opposing teams move the chains at key times. At this stage of his career, Barnett may be better suited for a complementary role, which is why he wouldn’t have been a good fit with the Jaguars, who are in need of a premier pass rusher.