3 players the Jacksonville Jaguars must re-sign after the NFL salary cap increase

• The extra cap space should allow the Jaguars to bring these 3 players back in 2024.

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jamal Agnew (39) hauls in a reception for a run and lone
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jamal Agnew (39) hauls in a reception for a run and lone / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Unio / USA
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2. Dawuane Smoot, defensive end

Defensive end Dawuane Smoot spent the offseason recovering from a torn Achilles he suffered in 2022. The fact that he was a free agent and remained unsigned throughout the summer cast doubt on his future with the team. However, he inked a one-year deal and made his season debut in Week 6. Unfortunately, he wasn't at full strength and wasn't much of a factor, registering just 10 total tackles and one sack in 12 games.

In his defense, Smoot might have needed more time to recover from the Achilles injury and he will get it this offseason. The former Illinois Fighting Illini is once again set to become a free agent, but the Jaguars should strongly consider bringing back one of their longest-tenured players.

For starters, Smoot was an important piece of the pass-rush rotation before he got hurt, tallying 22.5 sacks from 2019-2022. He would be a solid No. 3 pass rusher behind Josh Allen and Travon Walker if he returns. Moreover, he can play with his hand on the ground or in a two-point stance. That versatility could come in handy in defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen's system.

Furthermore, re-signing Smoot wouldn't have been cost-prohibitive even before the salary cap spike. He's coming off a down season — regardless of the reason — so he could take a one-year, prove-it deal with a chance to increase his stock. Doing it in Jacksonville would make the most sense since there would be some level of continuity, which in turn would allow him to get back on track faster.