Jaguars roster: 3 takeaways from the Laviska Shenault trade to Panthers
1. GM Trent Baalke is putting his own stamp on the Jaguars roster
Trent Baalke became the Jaguars’ interim general manager when Dave Caldwell was fired late in 2020 and was later promoted full-time early in 2021. Since then, Baalke has gone on to get rid of several players his predecessor acquired. This isn’t particularly shocking, there’s always turnover on a roster from one year to another, especially when there’s a regime change, which is what happened in Jacksonville.
However, Caldwell’s track record of identifying talent wasn’t particularly enticing, which has made it easier for Baalke to pull the plug on several players he inherited. Laviska Shenault Jr. is the most recent example but the general manager also traded cornerback C.J. Henderson just one year after making him the ninth overall pick in the 2020 draft. Similarly, the Jags’ front office traded tight end Josh Oliver last offseason even though he was drafted in 2019.
It’s also worth noting that this is Baalke’s first year truly in control of the Jaguars’ front office. Although he oversaw last year’s moves in free agency and the 2021 draft, Urban Meyer surely had an influence on the team’s decision-making. With Meyer out of the picture, Baalke can freely do what he thinks is in the team’s best interest.
Sure, Baalke surely listens to Doug Pederson’s input and the two seem to be getting along well. However, this is now Baalke’s show and he will now have the chance to redeem himself after a tumultuous 2021 season.