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
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1. Folorunso Fatukasi, defensive tackle (2022)

After going after mid-tier free agents in 2021, the Jaguars spared no expenses the following year. That aggressiveness helped them make the playoffs and win the AFC South for the first time in 2017. On top of that, a few of the players they signed — Christian Kirk, Evan Engram, and Foyesade Oluokun — have become building blocks. However, not all the signings had the same impact.

Cornerback Darious Wiliams had a Pro Bowl-caliber season in 2023, but he was just released in a cap-saving move. Similarly, the Jaguars paid veteran guard Brandon Scherff a premium but he hasn't been nearly as dominant as he was during his seven-year stint with the Washington Commanders. But the worst of the bunch was without a doubt Folorunso Fatukasi.

When they gave him a three-year deal worth $30 million, the Jags thought they were getting a player in the mold of Vince Wilfork, a nose tackle that could collapse the pocket and clog up running lanes. Unfortunately, he left much to be desired the past two years. Leaving aside that he routinely dealt with injuries, he wasn't great at creating pressure and also struggled against the run.

Especially in the second half of 2023, opposing offenses had no trouble pounding the ball, and one big reason was Fatukasi. Sure, the rest of the defense missed tackles at a concerning rate, but the Jaguars' front four would've been much better if Fatukasi had performed the way he was expected.

To nobody's surprise, Fatukasi was cut after two underwhelming seasons. While the Jags only got $3.5 million in cap space, releasing him allows them to look for a nose tackle that can actually create havoc at the line of scrimmage. Basically, you could say that his departure is addition by subtraction.

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