The Jacksonville Jaguars threw a wrench at the wide receiver market and didn’t make many teams happy when they gave Christian Kirk a four-year deal worth $72 million. While it’s too early to tell if things are going to work out the way they envision, it’s fair to say the Jags are pleased with the early returns on their investment.
Jaguars offensive coordinator Press Taylor recently appeared on the Happy Hour and touched on several topics, including his relationship with Trevor Lawrence, how he will work with his staff, and the team’s additions in free agency, including Kirk. When asked what the wide receiver brings to the offense, Taylor said the biggest thing is his versatility to line up all over the formation and win outside. He also praised his speed and described him as a great decision-maker. The offensive coordinator added that he likes his demeanor.
"You know, probably something I didn’t know about him was his demeanor. We’ve been around each other for a week. He’s got a great demeanor about himself. He again asks great questions, similar to the quarterbacks where I think that makes up for a lot of less time on the grass, where they have the ability to sit and communicate in a meeting room and get on the same page and he brings out that element. He brings big plays, [he’s a] dynamic player. He’s good with the ball in his hands. He’s able to win in a number of different ways which is intriguing for us."
Host J.P. Shadrick then noted that he hadn’t heard someone refer to a widout as a decision-maker and asked Taylor what he meant. The offensive coordinator says part of that is the kind of questions Kirk makes, “Can I adjust this way versus that?”, “Do you expect me to do this?” Here’s the whole clip in case you want to give it a listen.
The Jaguars willingly signed Christian Kirk in free agency.
A player is worth what a team is to pay him and while Kirk’s past production might not have been on par with the contract the Jaguars gave him, they are the ones that set the amount. They paid him not for what he has done but because of what he can do for them and if he lives up to expectations, will observers be able to say general manager Trent Baalke overpaid for him?
It’s true that Kirk hasn’t had a 1,000-yard season but it’s also worth noting that he wasn’t the top target in the Arizona Cardinals offense and he thrive once head coach Kliff Kingsbury started to use his skillset correctly (using him more in the slot). The Jags saw what he did last season and believe he can take the next step.
The Jaguars needed to get Trevor Lawrence as many weapons as possible this offseason and while they had to pay a premium for Kirk, it will be worth it if he becomes a reliable target, helps them score more points, and plays a role in the young passer’s development in 2022.