No. 3 free agent the Jaguars should’ve signed: Laken Tomlinson, LG
Getting Trevor Lawrence more weapons was one of the Jaguars’ top priorities this offseason but they also made a few adjustments to their offensive line. Besides re-signing left tackle Cam Robinson and center Tyler Shatley, they signed Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Scherff. Moreover, they will have sophomore Walker Little compete with Jawaan Taylor for the starting job at right tackle.
The one position the Jags didn’t address this offseason was left guard. The team’s brass expects third-year offensive lineman Ben Bartch to fill the void left by Andrew Norwell’s departure in free agency. Last season, the former St. John’s Johnny made 13 starts last season and held his own. Having said that, Jacksonville could have bolstered the position if they had signed Laken Tomlinson, who ultimately joined the New York Jets.
A first-round selection by the Detroit Lions in 2015, Tomlinson was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in 2017. He didn’t stand out early in his tenure in the Bay Area but eventually became a mainstay of their offensive line and got a three-year, $18 million contract in 2018. He got an even better deal from the Jets this offseason, a three-year pact worth $27 million, an amount the Jaguars could have afforded.
Had the Jags signed Tomlinson, they would probably have a top 15 unit offensive line in 2022. There’s a chance Bartch will show he’s the long-term answer at left guard for Jacksonville but Tomlinson is currently the better player.