The Jacksonville Jaguars will be watching the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers face each other in Super Bowl 58. While the Jags were seen as a potential contender early in 2023, they ultimately proved they weren't near the level of either team, losing to both of them in the regular season.
In retrospect, one of the reasons Jacksonville failed to keep up with the top teams in the NFL was that they didn't make enough upgrades in the offseason, opting instead for a conservative approach. If they want to avoid a repeat of last year, they'll need to resort to free agency to address some of their needs.
Fortunately for the Jaguars, the Super Bowl will give them a glimpse of a handful of players who are slated to hit the open market. Specifically, they should keep an eye on the following four.
4. Donovan Smith, Chiefs offensive tackle
The Jaguars have to make upgrades to the interior offensive line in the offseason but they could also use depth at offensive tackle. Cam Robinson is set to have a cap hit of $21.1 million in free agency but releasing him or trading him would free up $17.2 million in cap space. It's hard to see the team's brass pass on the chance to create as much space.
The downside of moving on from Robinson is that the Jaguars will probably need a swing tackle, one who can play on either side. Walker Little filled that role the past two years but could replace Robinson or step in at right guard in 2024. Either way, Jacksonville could use depth at the position with sophomore Anton Harrison slated to take the spot opposite Little. Donovan Smith may be one option in the open market.
Smith, a second-round pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015, signed a modest $3 million deal with the Chiefs last year. He went on to make 12 starts in the regular season, giving up two sacks and 42 total pressures, his highest figure since 2018. Smith may want to look for starting jobs in free agency but he may be better suited for backup roles at this stage of his career. That would make him a great fit in Jacksonville.