3 Jaguars biggest free-agency blunders of the Trent Balke era

Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke. (Imagn Images photo pool)
Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke. (Imagn Images photo pool) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Shaquill Griffin (26) at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 2 Jaguars FA blunder of the Trent Baalke era: Shaquill Griffin, CB

The Jaguars weren’t particularly aggressive in last year’s free agency but they still handed out a few big contracts and cornerback Shaquill Griffin signed the biggest of all, a three-year deal worth $40 million.

A third-round pick in 2019, Griffin made the Pro Bowl in 2020 and was solid in his first season with the Jags, logging 49 total tackles and seven pass deflections. Moreover, he was a locker room leader and often showed his face after the team lost, so it made sense that he would be even better with Meyer out of the picture.

However, Griffin wasn’t off to a great start in 2022, allowing two touchdown receptions in the opener. He then gave up another against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 6. He was shut down for the season with a back injury he had been dealing with since training camp.

Griffin still has one year left on his deal but it’s hard to see him returning in 2023. After all, he’s set to count $17.5 million against the cap next year but releasing him would free up $13.5 million with $4 million in dead money. Also, his play hasn’t been on par with his contract.

Moving on from Griffin next offseason makes sense when you take into account the Jags will be in a cap crunch to start 2023 and will need to free up space. Releasing the veteran cornerback would give them plenty of breathing room.