No. 1 reason the Jacksonville Jaguars took a smart approach to the NFL trade deadline
The front office will need lots of cap space and draft picks next year
The Jaguars didn't make a splash signing in free agency because they have several important decisions to make in 2024. They took a similar approach at the trade deadline, knowing they'll need to be diligent with their cap space and draft picks. As it is, they already have several picks committed to wide receiver Calvin Ridley after trading for him last year. Jacksonville will need to send a third-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons next year and it will become a second-rounder if Ridley signs a contract extension.
Outside linebacker Josh Allen is set to become a free agent and locking up will require a considerable investment. Just recently, Green Bay Packers edge rusher Rashan Gary signed a four-year deal worth $107 million. Allen is having a better season than Gary and could ask for an equal or better deal when he engages in contract negotiations with Jacksonville.
If that wasn't enough, Trevor Lawrence, offensive lineman Walker Little, cornerback Tyson Campbell, and safety Andre Cisco will become eligible for contract extensions next year. Campbell, Cisco, and Little will become free agents in 2025 but the longer the Jags wait to re-sign them, the more money they'll have to fork out. Similarly, they could opt to exercise Lawrence's fifth-year option but the sooner they get him under contract, the more affordable it will be.
For the sake of argument, let's say the Jaguars can't bring all of them back. That's where draft selections will come in handy, especially the one in the first round. Had they traded for Danielle Hunter or Chase Young, they would've probably given it up, since their 2024 second-round pick is earmarked. Furthermore, the Jags will need to replace players who are slated to hit the open market such as Daniel Thomas, Chris Claybrooks, and Shaquille Quarterman. They'll need draft picks for that.
In the end, the Jaguars could make a trade that would've helped them in the short term. However, they have a long-term vision and didn't find enough value at the deadline to deviate from it.