3 offseason catastrophes the Jacksonville Jaguars must avoid in 2024

• The Jaguars need to be decisive when tackling these 3 decisions. Otherwise, things could get messy.

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen (41) runs off the field after the game of a regular
Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen (41) runs off the field after the game of a regular / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Unio / USA
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The Jacksonville Jaguars were the team to beat in 2023. They lost that title to the Houston Texans after failing to make the playoffs. While Houston prepares to take on the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round, the Jags have already gone into full offseason mode. They began by parting ways with defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell and most of the defensive staff. Once they fill the vacancies, they'll need to turn their attention to the roster.

Although Jacksonville doesn't have nearly as many glaring holes as other years, their roster wasn't good enough last season. They'll need to load up on talent if they want to keep up with the Texans in the race for the division. Along the way, they'll need to avoid making the following mistakes.

3. Not finding a replacement for Calvin Ridley, creating a need

In his first season in Jacksonville, Calvin Ridley hauled in 76 receptions for 1,016 yards with eight touchdowns. He also drew several pass interference flags that helped the Jags convert on first down. Overall, the offense was better because of him. Granted, he had a few off games but you could make the case that was the result of getting used to his new team, and not playing in more than one year, having served a suspension for betting on NFL games in 2021.

Ridley is now scheduled to hit the open market in March, but re-signing him makes sense. Having shaken the rust off, he would benefit from spending another year with Trevor Lawrence. Their communication wasn't always great but it would most definitely improve if they keep working together. One roadblock to extending the Alabama product is that the Jags would need to give the Atlanta Falcons a second-round pick if they do, as part of the trade they made in 2022.

If Jacksonville lets Ridley walk, it will then be a third. The issue with that scenario is that it would leave a void at wide receiver. While they could find their replacement in the draft or free agency, it's not a given that they will. By letting Ridley leave in free agency, one of their best offensive players from 2023 is walking through the door. Rome Odunze or Keon Coleman are a couple of intriguing prospects, but there's no guarantee their playmaking prowess will carry over to the NFL.

Similarly, the Jaguars could go after Mike Evans or Tee Higgins in free agency, but are they truly better than Ridley? If they decide that not bringing back Ridley is the best course of action, that's fine, as long as they get someone equally good or better.