No. 2 free agent the Jaguars can sign: J.C. Tretter, OL
Center J.C. Tretter is arguably the best free agent available in the open market and it’s fair to wonder why he remains unsigned. Like many other players, he might be waiting for the right opportunity. Another possibility is that he wants to join a contender or maybe he hasn’t any of the offers he’s been made over the last few months. Regardless of the reason, Tretter has shown he can play.
A fourth-round selection by the Green Bay Packers in 2014, the Cornell gradute really shined until he signed with the Cleveland Browns in 2017. Since then, he’s made 80 starts and has been among the best centers in the league. Despite the fact that he hasn’t earned meaningul accolades, he’s performed well and hasn’t earned a Pro Football Focus’ pass-blocking grade below 80.0 since 2015. Just last year, he gave up just one sack and 10 total pressures in 567 pass-blocking snaps.
It’s true that Tretter dealt with ankle and knee injuries in 2021 but he ended up sitting out one game. He could sign with the Jaguars and compete with Tyler Shatley for the starting job at center.
Shatley made 17 starts over the last two years and was given a two-year deal to remain in Jacksonville in the offseason. Tretter could either start at center or provide depth at the position, especially if rookie Luke Fortner struggles in his transition to the NFL or if the Jaguars suffer injuries at center.