3 underrated needs for the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason

• The Jaguars have pressing needs on the interior offensive line and the pass rush rotation. But they must also address these 3 positions in the offseason.

Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Walker Little (72) looks to hit offensive tackle Coy Cronk
Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Walker Little (72) looks to hit offensive tackle Coy Cronk / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA
2 of 3

2. Safety

The Jaguars have had a stable safety group the last two years. Besides having a couple of starters in Rayshawn Jenkins and Andre Cisco, they have a serviceable backup in Andrew Wingard. Also in the fold was special-teams ace Daniel Thomas. While Cisco is a lock to remain in the starting lineup next season, Jenkins could be a cap casualty.

The former Miami Hurricane signed a four-year deal worth $35 million in 2021. So far, he's had one outstanding season (2022), mixed with an underwhelming one (2021), and a solid one (2023). He's set to count $12.284 against the cap in 2024, but the Jags can free up $5.1 million in space with $7.1 million in dead money if they release him. If they decide to move on from him and let Thomas hit the open market, they would then need to bolster the position.

Antonio Johnson, who showed promise in his rookie campaign, could be an in-house replacement for Jenkins. In nine games last year, he tallied two interceptions, one forced fumble, three passes defensed and one sack. However, the former Texans A&M Aggies is also an option to line up at nickel if incumbent Tre Herndon doesn't return next season.

If Johnson stays at nickel, where he lined up the most, the Jaguars would need to look for someone to line up next to Cisco in either free agency or the draft. Regarding Thomas, bringing him back wouldn't be cost-prohibitive, but he underwent forearm surgery at the end of the year, so the top brass' may want to invest a mid or late to add insurance at the position.

Overall, safety isn't a pressing need for the Jaguars heading into the offseason, but they'd better off making changes before it becomes one.