2. Brandon Scherff, right guard
The Jaguars made several signings in 2021 but none of them fell into the splash category. Instead, they looked for bargains and depth in the open market. However, they took a whole different approach the following year, sparing no expenses when it came to locking up the best talent available. One of the players they managed to land was right guard Brandon Scherff. It wasn't cheap, they had to fork out a $45.5 million contract but it wouldn't have mattered as long as he solidified the interior offensive line.
Scherff's deal didn't seem particularly outrageous when you look at his resume. A first-round pick in 2015, the former Iowa Hawkeye made the Pro Bowl five times and earned a First-Team All-Pro designation during his seven-year stint with the Washington Commanders. It's fair to assume the Jags expected him to have similar production with them. But they were also aware that he came with injury red flags.
Since 2016, Scherff hadn't played a full season, dealing with all kinds of ailments along the way. Surprisingly, he hasn't missed a game in Jacksonville. On the other hand, he hasn't been nearly as dominant as he was in Washington. He dealt with an abdomen injury through most of 2022 but if he managed to stay healthy in 2023, there was no reason to believe he could play at a Pro Bowl level. He didn't. He wasn't bad but he wasn't great either.
That wouldn't be an issue if Scherff were a younger player with room for growth. He isn't. Instead, he's a grizzled veteran whose best years may be behind him. Add that his performance doesn't reflect his salary and he's a candidate to get his walking papers. He's entering the last year of the contract he signed in 2021, and the Jags could free up around $9 million if they release him.
While Scherff has been a leader in the trenches and a team captain the past two years, the Jags must be wondering if they can get similar or better production at the position from a free agent or a draft pick in 2024.