The Jacksonville Jaguars must operate with a sense of urgency in the offseason. After missing the playoffs in 2023, they cannot afford to solely build to the draft. They'll need to dip their toes in free agency and add a handful of proven contributors. The Jags are currently set to have around $12 million in cap space but they could free up around $30 million if they move on from a few players and extend a handful others.
That should be plenty to make a few additions in free agency. That said, they need to avoid the next three players, who will enter the open market with question marks surrounding them.
3. Carl Lawson, edge rusher
A fourth-round pick in 2017, Carl Lawson was a solid starter for the Cincinnati Bengals early in his career, posting 20 sacks and two forced fumbles in 49 games. When he became a free agent in 2021, he signed a three-year deal worth $45 million with the New York Jets. However, his stint in the Big Apple didn't go the way either party expected, with a torn Achilles wiping out his 2021 season.
Lawson returned in 2022 and managed to play all 17 games, tallying seven sacks and one forced fumble. However, he suffered a back injury last offseason that hindered his in-season performance. The former Auburn Tiger ultimately suited up in just six games and he finished the year with a measly two total tackles. Having a full offseason to recover could help him get back in shape but there's an equal chance his back injury will still bother him.
The bottom line is that the Jaguars should avoid signing Lawson altogether. While they need to find a No. 3 pass rusher behind Travon Walker and Josh Allen, there will be better/safer options in the open market.