Former Steelers CB Arthur Maulet could give Jaguars nickel position a boost

The Jacksonville Jaguars is one of two teams that have inquired about free agent cornerback Arthur Maulet, who has mostly lined up in the slot since joining the league in 2017.
Jan 1, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Arthur Maulet (35).
Jan 1, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Arthur Maulet (35). / Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports

Good teams are always looking for ways to get better and the Jacksonville Jaguars could potentially add reinforcements to the slot if they pursue cornerback Arthur Maulet, who's currently a free agent after the Pittsburgh Steelers granted his request to release him.

Jeremy Fowler of ESPN was the first to report that both the Jags and the Chicago Bears have inquired about Maulet after getting released. Fowler then adds that Maulet is weighing his options and plans to latch onto a team for training camp.

An undrafted free agent in 2017, Maulet joined the New Orleans Saints and was waived the following year. He then joined the Indianapolis Colts and spent the 2018 season with them. He would sign with the New York Jets the following year and join the Steelers in 2021. He's appeared in a total of 68 games with 20 starts and has registered three interceptions and 11 passes defensed over the last six seasons.

In Jacksonville, Maulet could challenge incumbent Tre Herndon for nickel duties, having mostly lined up in the slot throughout his NFL career. An undrafted free agent in 2019 himself, Herndon can line up inside or outside and has previously started games for the Jaguars. After becoming a free agent in March, he signed a one-year deal to return to the Jags.

The Jaguars could bring in Arthur Maulet to compete with Tre Herndon

Even though cornerback was constantly mentioned as one of the Jaguars' biggest needs throughout most of the offseason, the team's brass didn't address the position until Day 3 of the draft, when they selected Antonio Johnson, who was listed as a safety but can also line up in the slot, and Christian Braswell.

It's not a given that the Jaguars will sign Maulet but it's always a good idea to look for ways to make upgrades to any position, in this case, the slot. Having said that, their interest in Maulet doesn't mean they are no longer confident in Herndon. Rather, they're looking for ways to get better, and signing Maulet gives them an opportunity to bring someone who can potentially contribute.

If Jacksonville does sign Maulet, he will be given a chance to man the slot but if they can't land him, Herndon will most likely be the team's primary nickel early in the season. Keep in mind that the Jags could have pursued a slot cornerback in the free agency or the draft but instead chose to bring back Herndon.

Whether Maulet lands in Jacksonville, Herndon will be the favorite to man the slot by virtue of being the incumbent. However, rookies Christian Braswell and Antonio Johnson could earn significant playing time at nickel as the season progress.

Instead of making splash signings in free agency, the Jacksonville Jaguars opted to mostly add to depth to most position groups. Inking Maulet would show that they're still committed to acquiring potential contributors without having to break the bank.

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