NFL clubs take a dive into free agency because they are willing to pay for immediate help. Whereas clubs may need to wait for a rookie to develop and contribute, they can sign a proven veteran who can have an immediate impact right off the bat. Surprisingly, the Jacksonville Jaguars opted to mostly stay away from free agency this offseason and instead focused on keeping their own players and adding depth to the roster.
In the end, the Jags couldn't retain everyone. Right tackle Jawaan Taylor signed with the Kansas City Chiefs and defensive end Arden Key crossed enemy lines to join the Tennessee Titans. That said, Jacksonville wasn't fully inactive in free agency and signed kicker Brandon McManus when he became available.
Looking back, these were the three biggest decisions the Jaguars made in free agency. With the Jaguars currently sitting at 1-2, this is a good time to see how things have played out.
No. 3 offseason decision the Jaguars made: Signing K Brandon McManus. K
Riley Patterson missed three field goals at the midpoint of the 2022 season. However, he went 16-of-16 in the last seven games. He then went on to kick the game-winning field goal against the Los Angeles Chargers in Wild Card Weekend.
Given his strong finish, it was fair to assume Patterson would remain on the roster in 2023. However, he was waived after veteran Brandon McManus was released by the Denver Broncos. This decision made sense on paper. After all, Patterson had been reliable but lacked ideal strength for kickoffs. That wouldn't be an issue for McManus, who routinely nailed attempts of 50+ yards.
However, McManus has been underwhelming during his stint with the Jags. He made all his kicks against the Kansas City Chiefs but he missed one against the Texans and had another one blocked. To add insult to injury, Texans fullback Andrew Beck returned one of his kickoffs 85 yards for a touchdown.
Simply, McManus hasn't been the upgrade at kicker he was expected to be.