4 offseason moves that will make Jaguars fans change their stance on Trent Baalke

• Trent Baalke doesn't enjoy great reputation among Jaguars fans but that could change if he made these moves.

Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke on the sidelines before the start of Sunday's game against the
Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke on the sidelines before the start of Sunday's game against the / Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY
2 of 4

3. Using free agency to bolster the offensive line and the pass rush

The Jaguars were content to watch other teams go into a spending spree in free agency last year. Although they did make a few acquisitions, none of them would be filed under the earth-shattering category. Sure, Brandon McManus did a solid job as the kicker and D'Ernest Johnson was a fine addition to their running back rotation. However, Trent Baalke had several chances to address areas of need but opted not to.

In particular, the Jaguars could've used a left guard while Ben Bartch recovered from the season-ending knee injury he suffered in 2022. Had they signed a capable replacement, the coaching staff wouldn't have had to press him back onto the field before he was fully healthy, which is what they did. Bartch was phased out in favor of veteran backup Tyler Shatley in Week 4, and he was released once Jacksonville acquired Ezra Cleveland via trade.

Then again, by the time the Jags brought in Cleveland, it was a bit too late. The left guard position went on to experience a revolving door the rest of the season. Something similar happened with the pass rush. Although Josh Allen went on to have a career season and Travon Walker made a leap in Year 2, the Jags were missing a No. 3 who could round out their rotation.

While Allen and Walker combined for 27.5 sacks between the two, the rest of the defense had 12 sacks. The fact that the Jaguars passed on several chances to address the pass rush last offseason makes this frustrating. Even if Baalke didn't want to give up draft picks for Danielle Hunter, he could've easily inked Jadeveon Clowney or Calais Campbell to affordable deals but chose not to.

Meanwhile, teams who made the Super Bowl or came close to it weren't afraid to swing for the fences, adding playmakers via trade or free agency. Baalke needs to follow that blueprint and acquire a couple of impact contributors in the open market.