Could Jaguars WR Laviska Shenault be traded before the NFL season?

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. (10) at Episcopal School of Jacksonville. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. (10) at Episcopal School of Jacksonville. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

Wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. has tumbled down the Jacksonville Jaguars’ depth chart after the additions of Christian Kirk and Zay Jones in free agency. Could that lead the Jags to trade him before the start of the 2022 NFL season? Alex Kay of Bleacher Report seems to believe so.

Kay put together a list of players that each NFL team should put on the trade block and believes that the Jaguars should shop Shenault. Kay argues that the arrival of Jones and Kirk could make Viska expendable, especially coming off a down year.

"It wasn’t long ago that Shenault was considered one of the league’s more promising receiver prospects. The 2020 second-round opened his NFL career with 58 catches for 600 yards and five scores, but he failed to build on that potential last year by catching 63 passes for 619 yards and zero touchdowns.While Shenault has the elite athleticism to be a playmaker in this league, he hasn’t shown any drastic improvement when it comes to drops — he had three as a rookie and eight last year — or his raw receiving skills."

Kay goes on to say that the Jaguars should see if they can get something in return for Shenault before his trade value decreases any further. Earlier this year, Jacksonville placed the former Colorado Buffalo on the trade block but ended up keeping him. While there haven’t been any new reports about potentially moving him, teams in need of wide receiver help could still inquire about him.

Trading Jaguars WR Laviska Shenault Jr. comes with pros and cons

Shenault was a key cog of the Jaguars’ offense back in his rookie campaign. The fact that he was able to haul in 58 receptions that year is noteworthy because Jacksonville lacked stability at the quarterback position at the time. Heading into the 2021 season, Shenault was seen as a candidate to have a breakout year. However, he fell short of expectations as he averaged half a yard less than he did in his rookie campaign and failed to reach the end zone.

Still, it was a bit surprising to see the Jags try to ship Shenault back in March. It’s possible that the team’s brass had seen enough of him, but it’s also important to point out that most players in Jaguars uniform underperformed under Urban Meyer last year.

Having said that, Kirk and Jones have lived up to expectations and both are poised to have a big role in the 2022 season. Moreover, Marvin Jones Jr. will once again be part of the starting lineup, leaving Shenault as the No. 4 receiver on the depth chart. If the Jags don’t plan to use him much in 2022, why would they want to keep him around?

Maybe the Jaguars are keeping Shenault as insurance in case injuries hit their wide receiver corps but that’s not probably a role he would be thrilled about. He would surely want to get the chance to compete for a starting role somewhere else, and if that’s the case, he should request a trade. On the other hand, Jacksonville might have not moved the third-year receiver yet simply because they haven’t gotten an offer to their liking.

In the end, the Jags are going to do what’s best for them, and if that means trading Shenault before the beginning of the regular season, they should pull the trigger. Of course, they run the risk of seeing him flourish somewhere else. If they’re ok with that, they should go ahead and do it.

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