Jacksonville Jaguars RT Jawaan Taylor projected to sign with Broncos in 2023 NFL free agency

Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Jawaan Taylor (75) at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]Jki 121822 Cowboys Jags Cp 116
Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Jawaan Taylor (75) at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]Jki 121822 Cowboys Jags Cp 116 /

The Jacksonville Jaguars are coming off a successful season and they would surely like to re-sign all their pending free agents to ensure they’ll have a shot to get back to the playoffs and maybe the Super Bowl in 2023. However, the Jags will enter the offseason without much cap space, so they’ll need to part ways with a handful of players, including right tackle Jawaan Taylor, who’s projected to sign with the Denver Broncos in free agency.

Arjun Menon and Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus matched the top 50 players expected to hit the open market with their potential landing spots and they believe Taylor will join the Broncos. They argue that Taylor’s age — he’s 25 — and his improvement as a pass blocker over the last two seasons will make him an appealing option in the open market for teams in need of a right tackle.

"Taylor is a pending free agent generating a lot of buzz around the league, which is understandable considering he’ll be just 25 years old through the first two months of the 2023 season and his 73.6 pass-blocking grade on true pass sets over the past two seasons ranks eighth among right tackles. New Broncos head coach Sean Payton always prioritized a stout offensive line in New Orleans, notably making Ryan Ramczyk the highest-paid right tackle in the NFL before taking his hiatus."

Menon and Spielberger go on to say that Denver might not make a huge investment in free agency due to the contract they gave to Russell Wilson last season but if they do, Taylor would make sense.

A second-round selection in 2019, Taylor has made 66 consecutive starts at right tackle and earned a 76.4 PFF pass-blocking grade, the highest in his NFL career. Moreover, he gave up just 16 total pressures in 2022 after allowing an average of 34 in the previous three seasons. Here’s the link to the full list but it’s behind a paywall, so you must have a subscription at PFF to access it.

The Jacksonville Jaguars may be ready to move on from Jawaan Taylor in 2023

Jawaan Taylor said after the 2022 season that he would like to return to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Similarly, head coach Doug Pederson said he would like the right tackle to come back but also acknowledge the organization will be working with a tight budget this offseason and will have to make some tough choices.

Tight end Evan Engram, defensive end Arden Key, and edge rusher Dawuane Smoot are other Jaguars players slated to hit the open market. It looks like Jacksonville will prioritize signing Evan Engram, and if they do manage to bring him back, they won’t have much money left to keep Taylor.

PFF expects Taylor to earn a contract in free agency that pays him an annual average of $16 million and the Jags lacked the space to fit that kind of deal into the cap. Furthermore, they already have a capable replacement in Walker Little, who competed with Taylor for the right tackle job in training camp. While Little lost the battle and is a natural fit at left tackle, a full offseason should help him get acclimated to the right side.

On the other hand, right tackle is a need for Denver and there are several paths they can take to free up enough money to give Taylor a long-term deal. As PFF noted, Sean Payton puts a huge emphasis on the offensive line play, and having Taylor at right tackle would ensure Russell Wilson has good protection up front.

Jawaan Taylor was a mainstay on the Jaguars’ offensive line last season and he deserves to get paid. However, he might need to go somewhere else, maybe the Broncos, to get the best possible deal.

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