3 biggest offseason blunders that doomed the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2023

• The Jaguars missed the playoffs in 2023. There are many reasons for their collapse but here are 3 offseason decisions that stood out.

Jacksonville Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke looks on as Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug
Jacksonville Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke looks on as Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug / Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY
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2. The Jaguars let Arden Key walk in free agency, didn't adecuately replaced him

Defensive end Arden Key needed a bit of time to put it all together but he finally reached his stride when he joined the San Francisco 49ers in 2021, registering a career-best 6.5 sacks after logging a combined 3.0 the previous three years. Following his breakout season, he signed a one-year deal with the Jags. The former LSU Tiger picked up where he left off and had yet another productive campaign.

Although Key only had four sacks in Jacksonville, his versatility to line up at different spots across the defensive line gave his teammates favorable matchups. Despite his impact, the team's brass let him walk in free agency, and he proceeded to join the division rival Tennessee Titans. Letting him hit the open market wasn't necessarily a bad decision. The trouble started when general manager Trent Baalke neglected to find an adequate replacement.

The Jags flirted with the idea of signing Yannick Ngakoue but ultimately passed. They then hosted Calais Campbell and Jadeveon Clowney for visits but neither one signed. Similarly, they showed interest in trading for Danielle Hunter throughout the offseason but didn't pull the trigger. All Campbell, Clowney, and Hunter went on to have successful campaigns.

Granted, it might've been expensive to trade for Hunter but he would've been worth it, having posted 16.5 sacks in 2023. Clowney wasn't nearly as dominant but still enjoyed one of his best seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, tying his personal best of 9.5 sacks. All it took for the Ravens to sign him was a $2.5 million deal. Key himself had a good year, tallying 6.0 sacks in Titans uniform.

While there's no guarantee these players would've posted the same production in Jacksonville, all of them could have helped the Jaguars. As good as Josh Allen and Travon Walker were in 2023, they could've been much better if they had had a third non-K'Lavon Chaisson to round out their rotation.