Jaguars 2022 midseason awards: Several players deserve recognition

Travon Walker #44, Devin Lloyd #33 and Dawuane Smoot #91 at Wembley Stadium. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Travon Walker #44, Devin Lloyd #33 and Dawuane Smoot #91 at Wembley Stadium. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk (13) at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports /

Jaguars 2022 midseason awards, best FA on offense: Christian Kirk, WR

This one should come as a surprise. Sure, the Jaguars earned plenty of scrutiny for handing wide receiver Christian Kirk a four-year deal worth $72 million deal in free agency despite the fact that he failed to register a 1,000-yard season during his stint with the Arizona Cardinals.

But one detail talking heads overlooked was that general manager Trent Baalke didn’t pay Kirk based on past production. Instead, the Jags projected what the former Texas A&M Auggie could do on their offense, and so far, they should be pleased with the results.

In nine starts this season, Kirk has hauled in 43 receptions for 574 yards with five touchdowns. Moreover, he’s on pace to register over 1,100 yards this season and more than ten touchdowns. All things considered, it seems like the Jags have gotten a solid return on their investment.

Jaguars 2022 midseason awards, best FA on defense: Arden Key, DE

The Jaguars made several additions to their offense in free agency but they didn’t neglect their defense. In fact, they also allocated big sums of money to their front seven. Besides signing linebacker Foyesade Oluokun and defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi, they found a way to land defensive end Arden Key.

Even though Key hasn’t made a start this season, he’s become an important part of their defensive line rotation, and his ability to play with his hand on the ground or in a two-point stance gives defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell the flexibility to deploy him in different ways. The former LSU Tiger has only logged two sacks this season but he’s become an important piece of the Jags’ defensive puzzle.