4 worst free-agent signings under Jaguars GM Trent Baalke

• Jaguars GM Trent Baalke has had his fair share of misses in the draft but he's also brought in a few duds in free agency, including the next four.

Dec 5, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Carlos Hyde (24) is
Dec 5, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Carlos Hyde (24) is / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 4
Next

3. Carlos Hyde, running back (2021)

After going 1-15, it was hard to picture the Jaguars sinking even lower but they managed to pull off the feat after hiring Urban Meyer as their head coach. Instead of running a proper search to fill the vacancy left by Doug Marrone, owner Shad Khan went out of his way to court Meyer. This led him to ignore the massive red flags that came with him.

Contrary to what he said when he got the job, Meyer had not conducted detailed research on the NFL. He was under the impression that he could call the old gang and the Jaguars would suddenly turn into a contender.

Among the players Meyer brought in was Tim Tebow, who showed right off the bat why he hadn't gotten a chance in the NFL in nearly 10 years. That said, Trent Baalke didn't have much of a say in the decision to bring Tebow aboard and he didn't even make the 53-man roster, so he didn't make the cut on this list. Moreover, his jersey was among the top sellers during the summer of 2021, and that must account for something, right?

That said, Baalke should get part of the blame for co-signing the acquisition of another Meyer protegee, running back Carlos Hyde. Sure, Meyer coached him at Ohio State, but Baalke drafted him when he was the general manager for the San Francisco 49ers.

Let's not forget this wasn't Hyde's first stint in Jacksonville. He had previously played eight games for the Jaguars in 2018. When he signed in 2021, he said he was immature back in 2018 but things didn't go much different the second time around.

Besides averaging an underwhelming 3.5 yards per carry, Hyde only got playing time because Meyer wanted him on the field. Had there been a different coach and general manager in place that year, Hyde wouldn't have probably signed with the Jags.