Jaguars should steer clear of FA center Matt Paradis for now

Carolina Panthers center Matt Paradis (61) at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Carolina Panthers center Matt Paradis (61) at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Center might not be at the top of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offseason needs but they need to fill the void Brandon Linder left after he retired. While they could address the position in the second or third round of this year’s draft, they could also add veteran Matt Paradis, who is still looking for a team after spending the last three seasons with Carolina Panthers. However, there is no rush to sign him and they can wait until after the draft to do it.

David Kenyon of Bleacher Report recently put together a list of free agents that could still help each NFL team and believes the Jags should sign Paradis. He argues that J.C. Tretter may be a better option but thinks that Paradis could provide depth at a cheaper rate.

"J.C. Tretter is the flashy name, but he’s probably out of the Jags’ price range following their free-agency splurge. Matt Paradis, on the other hand, might be looking for a prove-it deal. Unfortunately for the Boise State product, a torn left ACL abruptly ended his 2021 campaign in November. Jacksonville re-signed Tyler Shatley and may turn to him as Linder’s replacement. However, the Jags could add Paradis and protect the ability to use Shatley’s versatility in case a rookie underperforms or the oft-injured Brandon Scherff misses time."

A sixth-round pick by the Denver Broncos in 2014, Paradis signed a three-year, $27 contract with the Panthers in 2019. While he didn’t miss a game in his first two years in Carolina, he had to sit out eight games last season after tearing his ACL in Week 9. At 32, the Boise State product should still have plenty of gas left in the tank

The Jaguars could eventually use Matt Paradis but can wait to sign him.

Right now, it doesn’t make much sense for the Jaguars to sign a veteran center, whether it’s J.C. Tretter or Matt Paradis. They gave Tyler Shatley a two-year deal before Brandon Linder retired. He will tentatively be their starting center in 2022. He made 18 starts over the last two seasons and did a serviceable job. Having said that, the Jags do need to look for a long-term answer at the position. Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum could be an enticing option if he’s available in the second round but the Jags could also take Memphis’ Dylan Parham in the third.

The Jaguars could add depth to the center position but it doesn’t have to be right now. They currently have $6.8 million in cap space, per Over The Cap. If they really want to acquire Tretter, they could create some cap room or give him a prorated signings bonus. The same is true for Paradis but for the moment, the Jags are better off taking a center in the draft. If Jacksonville isn’t able to land one, they should then consider signing Tretter or Paradis.

The Jaguars have already added several players in free agency, so they can wait until the draft to address their remaining needs. There’s no doubt Paradis is still a very capable player but his addition to the roster might be unnecessary right now.

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