3. The Jaguars 2022 free-agent class must live up to expectations
The Jaguars had plenty of cap space this year and instead of sitting on it, they made several key additions, many of them at a premium rate, in free agency. You may not agree with the amount of money the Jags paid to most of the players they acquired but if they end up living up to expectations, their price tag won’t be discussed much.
But that’s the thing, a contract only looks good (from a team’s standpoint) if the player performs at a high level. Do you think Jacksonville will continue to be criticized for giving wide receiver Christian Kirk a four-year deal worth $72 million if he becomes the bonafide No. 1 receiver the Jags have missed?
The same is true for former first-round pick Evan Engram. He might not reach the 1,000-yard mark but if he becomes a safety valve for Trevor Lawrence and helps keep drives alive, nobody will talk about the $9 million he will make in 2022.
The Jags signed defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi, defensive end Arden Key, linebacker Foyesade Oluokun and cornerback Darious Williams. All of them got big contracts but if they can generate turnovers and stop opposing teams from scoring touchdowns, the front office’s investment will pay off.
Free agency is a tool to help teams address specific needs and NFL clubs can’t buy their way to the Super Bowl. Having said that, the Jags did a good job of replenishing their roster. Now, the newcomers must help Jacksonville win games in 2022.