Jacksonville Jaguars on standby early in NFL Free Agency: 3 takeaways

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson at TIAA Bank Field. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson at TIAA Bank Field. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union] /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 09: Jawaan Taylor #75 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in action during the first half of the game against the Houston Texans at TIAA Bank Field. (Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images) /

2. The Jacksonville Jaguars 2019 NFL Draft class got paid in free agency

Right tackle Jawaan Taylor wasn’t the only member of the Jaguars’ 2019 NFL Draft class that got paid in free agency. Linebacker Quincy Williams signed a three-year deal worth $18 million to remain with the New York Jets while tight end Josh Oliver inked a three-year, $21 million contract to join the Minnesota Vikings.

From a player’s perspective, this is great news. The average length of an NFL career is a bit over 3.3 years, so it’s great to see players sign multi-year contracts. On the other hand, the Jaguars should be asking themselves why they let Oliver and Williams walk.

Although the Jaguars were in the position to let Taylor walk, they moved on from both Oliver and Williams too early. It’s possible that general manager Trent Baalke wanted to cut ties with players he inherited from the previous regime or maybe he and then-head coach Urban Meyer failed to properly assess them.

Coincidentally, Jacksonville also traded quarterback Gardner Minshew in 2021, along with other players former general manager David Caldwell acquired, such as linebacker Joe Schobert, and cornerback C.J. Henderson.

Even though things have turned out well for the Jags, it’s fair to wonder what kind of impact Oliver and Williams would have had in Jacksonville if they had stuck around a bit longer.

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