3 best Luke Fortner replacements the Jaguars should target in free agency

• The Jaguars need to replace Luke Fortner at center. Here are three players who could take his place.

Dec 18, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders center Andre James (68) walks off the field
Dec 18, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders center Andre James (68) walks off the field / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Andre James

If the Jaguars are willing to spare no expenses to make upgrades in free agency, they should then go after veteran Andre James, who's set to be one of the best centers available. After going undrafted in 2019, James signed with the Las Vegas Raiders and worked his way up the roster. By 2021, he had joined the starting lineup, beating Nick Martin for the center job.

James has been one of the Raiders' bright spots in the offensive trenches, making 48 starts over the last three years. While he's not an All-Pro caliber center, he gave up a reasonable four sacks and 19 total pressures last season. Also, he's avoided major injuries throughout his career, which is probably why Las Vegas will make an effort to re-sign him before free agency starts.

With $35 million in cap space, they won't have trouble giving him an extension if they want him to return. Pro Football Focus projects James will get a three-year deal worth $9 million, or an annual average of $3 million. That's an amount Las Vegas should be able to afford and the Jaguars shouldn't mind paying if he hits the open market.

By signing James, the Jaguars would no longer have to worry about the center position and could turn their attention to other needs in the draft. The fact that they wouldn't have to break the bank to bring him aboard makes him an appealing option. That is unless the Raiders re-sign him. If that's the case, Jacksonville will have to turn somewhere else for help at center.

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