The Jacksonville Jaguars weren't able to meet expectations in 2023, failing to win the AFC South title and missing the playoffs. Now, they find themselves having to catch up to the division foe Houston Texans. It won't be easy but it will require lots of work.
Moving forward, Doug Pederson will need to get the most out of the team and several players who underperformed last year will need to rebound. The front office, for their part, will need to make upgrades to a roster that isn't devoid of talent but has a handful of glaring weaknesses.
If general manager Trent Baalke does his job, the Jaguars should have a strong chance of returning from the playoffs. Conversely, they will once again take a step back if they make any of the next mistakes.
4. Letting Josh Allen contract situation loom in training camp
Outside linebacker Josh Allen has done everything the Jaguars have asked of him. Yet, he's still waiting for an extension. General manager Trent Baalke made it clear that Allen will be on the team in 2024 but he didn't explain how he was going to prevent him from hitting the open market. The easy path is to use the franchise tag on him and keep him for another year.
However, Allen played his rookie deal out because he thought he would get rewarded if he showed out. He did but Baalke has yet to reach out to his representatives. Maybe Baalke will get it done before free agency but the fact that he isn't operating with a sense of urgency is concerning, to say the least. Simply put, why aren't the Jaguars taking care of arguably their best defensive players?
The Green Bay Packers wasted no time giving Rashan Gary a top-market deal last year. The same is true for the Chicago Bears who gave Montez Sweat a new contract not long after trading for him. Other teams don't hesitate to reward their playmakers. Meanwhile, the Jaguars approaching negotiations with Allen in a less-than-ideal way.
In the end, this will be a footnote in the offseason if the Jags manage to strike a deal with Allen soon. Conversely, this could look large in training camp if the 2019 first-round pick has yet to get an extension by then. If he gets the tag, he will be in his right not to report, and the more time he misses, the more it will potentially hurt the team. On the bright side, the solution is simple: Give Josh Allen the contract he deserves.