4 players the Jacksonville Jaguars didn't land in free agency and are better for it

• Here are four players the Jaguars passed on in free agency and are better because of it.

Oct 22, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Robert Hunt (68)
Oct 22, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Robert Hunt (68) / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Christian Wilkins, DT, Raiders

The Las Vegas Raiders needed to reinforce their defensive front, so they went after the best defensive tackle available in the market, Christian Wilkins. To secure his services, though, they had to give him a four-year deal worth $110 million with $84 million guaranteed.

There's no denying that Wilkins is a playmaker. He's progressively gotten better since the Dolphins made him the 13th overall pick in 2019. Last year, he posted a career-best nine sacks and 58 total pressures. That said, he's the second highest-paid defensive tackle in the league. Only Chris Jones has a higher annual average than Wilkins and he's a much better player.

You could make the case that the Raiders had no choice but to pay retail for Wilkins but the truth is that the Jaguars got much a better deal when they signed defensive tackle Arik Armstead to a three-year deal worth $43.5 million ($14.5 million per year).

Wilkins is younger than Armstead but the latter has a proven track record. He's only tallied double-digit sacks in a season but he's routinely been among the 15 best defensive tackles throughout his career. On top of that, he played at a high level the past two years despite the fact that he was dealing with foot and knee injuries.

It's fair to assume that Armstead will have a huge impact for the Jaguars next season if he's at full strength. Wilkins could also turn into a difference-maker for Las Vegas but he'll be under pressure to live up to the blockbuster contract he signed. There's no guarantee he will, which is why the Jaguars got the better player of the two and at a better price.

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