The Jacksonville Jaguars won’t be able to make many splash signings in the offseason due to the limited amount of cap space they’ll be working with. However, that shouldn’t stop them from pursuing defensive lineman Javon Hargrave, who will be one of the hottest names in free agency if he doesn’t return to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Hargrave played for Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson back in 2020. A third-round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2016 NFL Draft, he signed a three-year deal worth $39 million with Philly and is coming off a season in which he logged a career-best 11 sacks. Similarly, he posted a Pro Football Focus overall grade of 80.1, the highest he’s ever earned.
Just like the Jags, the Eagles will be facing a cap crunch. They currently have a bit over $8 million, but they will have a hard time giving Hargrave the kind of contract he will get if he hits the open market. He’s ranked third on PFF’s list of top 100 players expected to hit the open market and Devid Kenyon of Bleacher Report expects him to sign a three-year, $60 million contract in free agency.
Kenyon points out that Hargrave just turned 30 but that won’t deter clubs from paying a premium for his services. As a matter of fact, he believes the 2021 Pro Bowl selection will land with the Chicago Bears.
The Jaguars should consider the possibility of signing Javon Hargrave
The Eagles would surely like to re-sign Hargrave, and general manager Howie Roseman has shown the ability to squeeze top-market contracts in the cap. However, Hargrave might want to test the market and see what other teams offer. After all, clubs will covet his flexibility to play in 3-4 and 4-3 defense, so will most likely be a hot commodity in the open market.
Hargrave would be an excellent addition to the Jaguars’ defense, as he could line up as a defensive tackle or a defensive end. The issue would be fitting him into the team’s budget. Furthermore, it wouldn’t make sense to pursue a player in the open market when the Jags first need to take care of their own free agents, including but not limited to tight end Evan Engram, defensive end Arden Key and right tackle Jawaan Taylor.
The Jaguars might have a hard time landing Hargrave, or any other premier free agents, but that shouldn’t stop them from at least trying if they want to make a deep playoff run in 2023.