3 Jacksonville Jaguars winners early in free-agency frenzy, 2 losers

• Here are 3 early winners, 2 losers after the Jaguars' early start to free agency.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) runs out of the tunnel to the field through
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) runs out of the tunnel to the field through / Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY
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Jaguars early winner of free agency No. 2: Kris Richard

The Jaguars revamped their defensive staff in the offseason, retaining only a few coaches from last year. Kris Richard will be taking over the secondary and he'll have no shortage of talent to work with. During the tampering period, Jacksonville inked safety Darnell Savage Jr. and cornerback Ronald Darby. Both of them could play important roles in 2024.

Savage isn't particularly great against the run but he's pretty good in coverage, so Richard and defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen should find a way to maximize his skill set. On the other hand, Darby could start opposite Tyson Campbell or replace Tre Herndon in the slot if he leaves in free agency.

Either way, Richard should be able to get the most out of his current personnel, something that the previous staff wasn't always able to do.

Jaguars early loser of free agency No. 2: Antonio Johnson

Kris Richard is surely thrilled he'll have plenty of talent at his disposal but sophomore Antonio Johnson may not be as enthused. A fifth-round pick in last year's draft, Johnson was held back by a hamstring injury early in his rookie season. But once he was able to contribute, he wasted no time making an impact.

Johnson supplanted Tre Herndon in the slot by the end of 2023 and was seen as a potential candidate to replace Rayshawn Jenkins, who was released in a cap-saving move before the start of free agency. Unfortunately, Johnson's path to the starting lineup doesn't look so certain after the additions of Darnell Savage and Ronald Darby.

Johnson, who's listed as a safety, may need to compete with Savage for the job next to Andre Cisco. Or maybe he'll have to fend off Darby to man the slot. Either way, Johnson doesn't currently seem to have a defined role in the Jags' defensive backfield.