3 pending free agents the Jacksonville Jaguars could surprisingly re-sign in 2024

• The Jaguars will need to reinforce the roster next offseason

• They are in dire need of playmakers

• But it would also make sense to re-sign these 3 veterans

Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Tre Herndon (37) is introduced before a regular season NFL football
Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Tre Herndon (37) is introduced before a regular season NFL football / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA
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1. D'Ernest Johnson, running back

The Jaguars' running game has been bad this season. It isn't that Travis Etienne regressed but he's simply not had anywhere to go. The offensive line has struggled to open lanes, which has in turn made it difficult for Etienne to gain positive yardage.

If the Jaguars bolster the offensive trenches in 2024 — it should be one of their top priorities — Etienne should be able to find much better success. The same is true for free-agent pick D'Ernest Johnson, who's made plays whenever he's been given a chance.

When the Jags signed Johnson, it looked like he would be RB3 behind Etienne and rookie Tank Bigsby on the depth chart, but he's moved ahead of the latter and has gotten more playing time in the second half of the season.

An undrafted free agent in 2018, Johnson tried out for the New Orleans Saints before joining the Orlando Apollos of the Alliance of American Football. He signed with the Cleveland Browns in 2019, where he spent four seasons. Although he didn't get much playing time behind Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, he made the most of his opportunities,

The team's brass may not be ready to give up on Bigsby, a third-round selection in 2023. However, that doesn't mean they shouldn't bring Johnson back next season. He got a one-year deal worth $1.09 million in the offseason and could get a similar one in 2024. Besides adding insurance to the Jaguars' backfield, he could push Bigsby.

Ideally, Bigsby would be the No. 2 behind Etienne but Johnson has turned out the be that player. With an improved offensive line, he could be even better in 2024.

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