No. 1 Jaguars best FA signing of the Trent Baalke era: Christian Kirk, WR
This was probably Trent Baalke’s most scrutinized acquisition but has arguably been the best one he’s made since taking over at general manager in Jacksonville. Following Trevor Lawrence’s subpar rookie campaign, the Jaguars knew they needed to give him weapons, so they used the surplus of cap space to sign Christian Kirk and Zay Jones in free agency.
Jones hasn’t been bad but he hasn’t been great either. Meanwhile, Kirk has become Lawrence’s most trusted target and is on pace to tally over 1,100 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in 2022. So why did Baalke get so much scrutiny for signing the former Texas A&M Auggie?
Talking heads around the league thought that the Jags overpaid for Kirk when they gave him a four-year, $72 million deal. They argued that they were paying a premium for a player that had never posted a 1,000-yard season in his career and was never the primary target on the Arizona Cardinals’ offense.
But after signing Kirk, Baalke said the team signed Kirk because of what he could do rather than what he did or didn’t do with the Cards. And so far, the decision has paid off. Kirk leads the Jags in pretty much every receiving category and currently ranks 11th in the NFL in receiving yards and tied with A.J. Brown for third in touchdowns. Based on his production, it looks like Jacksonville is getting a pretty good return on their investment.