The Jacksonville Jaguars failed to make the postseason in 2023. While there are many reasons their season finished on a sour note, their inability to fortify the roster last year was a reason why. Instead of loading up on talent in free agency, they took a conservative approach with the hope that their core from 2022 would be even better. Unfortunately, that's not how things ultimately played out.
The Jags' weaknesses were exposed throughout the season. Their offensive line, in particular, had a hard time keeping Trevor Lawrence upright. They also struggled in the running game, failing to open holes for Travis Etienne. On defense, a third-pass rusher behind Travon Walker and Josh Allen would've come in handy and their depth at cornerback left a bit to be desired.
Having said that, not everything was gloom and doom. The Jaguars got a few things right last offseason. The trade for Calvin Ridley doesn't count since they made it in 2022. But even if you leave aside the Calvin Ridley trade, they had a few things going for them, including the next three.
3. Bringing in K Brandon McManus on a bargain one-year deal
It wasn't perfect, especially in the second half of the season but Brandon McManus gave the Jags' kicking game a boost in 2024. After a nine-year stint with the Denver Broncos, McManus was released just after last year's draft took place. Jacksonville swooped in and signed him, trading Riley Patterson to the Detroit Lions in the process.
One of the reasons the Jaguars swapped Patterson for McManus is that the former lacked the leg strength for kickoffs and long field goals. That wasn't an issue with the latter, who routinely nailed attempts of 50+ yards or more throughout his career. Last season alone, he made five such field goals.
You could argue that McManus also missed seven attempts, but context is necessary. Five of those failed attempts came from Weeks 12-16 when most of the team wasn't doing particularly great. Furthermore, five of his misses were of 50+ yards or more. And if you think Riley Patterson would've done a better job, that wouldn't be accurate, as the Lions waived him during the regular season.
The bottom line is that at $2 million for one year, the Jaguars got bang for their buck with McManus handling kicking duties.