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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1. D'Ernest Johnson, running back

The Jaguars had a stud running back in Travis Etienne but the depth behind him wasn't great in 2022. JaMycal Hasty was serviceable but not much else. Not surprisingly, the front office signed D'Ernest Johson last offseason and later drafted Tank Bigsby. By the end of the season, Johnson had cemented himself as RB2 behind Eitenne.

An undrafted free agent in 2018, Johnson had to spend a season in the American Alliance of Football before joining the Cleveland Browns in 2019. While he didn't get much playing time behind Nick Chubbs and Kareem Hunt, he routinely made the most of the chances, averaging 5.2 yards per carry during his four-year stint with the Browns.

In Jacksonville, Johnson worked his way up the depth chart. He first got ahead of Hasty and later supplanted Bigsby as the primary backup. Even though his production didn't pop off the stat sheet, he gave the Jaguars a reliable player who could step in relief of Etienne.

Johnson signed a modest one-year, $1.2 million deal last offseason, and he could get a similar amount in 2024. Even though he averaged just 2.6 yards per carry last season, that was mostly the result of running behind a porous offensive line. If the team's brass makes the necessary upgrades, his numbers will be much better.

The fact that Johnson can contribute on special teams is another reason to bring him back. Moreover, he would serve as insurance in case Bigsby isn't able to make a leap next season.

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