Grading all Jaguars moves, including the Arik Armstead signing, in free agency

• The Jaguars have had a frutiful free-agency period. Here are the grades for all the moves they've made thus far.

Dec 11, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead (91)
Dec 11, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead (91) / Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 4

Ronald Darby, cornerback

2-year, $10.5 M

The Jaguars created a void at cornerback when they released Darious Williams. While the Jacksonville native played at a Pro Bowl-caliber level last year, the front office couldn't pass up the chance to create $11 million in space. Fortunately, they quickly found a solid replacement in Ronald Darby.

Darby will make the next two years as much as Williams was set to make in 2024. Leaving aside that he's cheaper, he has the versatility to play inside or outside, so he could start opposite Tyson Campbell in Week 1.

When discussing his reasons for signing with the Jags, Darby cited his familiarity with Doug Pederson, having played three years for him with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Grade: B

D'Ernest Johnson, running back

1-year, undisclosed

The Jaguars are bringing back D'Ernest Johnson after signing him last year. He made JaMycal Hasty expendable and got ahead of Tank Bigsby on the depth chart. While he averaged less than 3.0 yards per carry, that was mostly the result of running behind an offensive line that couldn't open holes.

Johnson gives the Jaguars a dependable backup who can get a few carries while contributing on special teams.

Grade B

Arik Armstead, defensive end

3-year, $51 M

The Jaguars were having a good free agency before they lost Calvin Ridley to the Tennessee Titans. Instead of feeling self-pity, they quickly moved on and set their sights on defensive end Arik Armstead, who was released by the San Francisco 49ers in a cap-saving move.

Armstead is a massive upgrade on the interior line. Besides being great at stopping the run, he excels at bringing the heat from inside. His presence will allow Josh Allen and Travon Walker to get more favorable matchups in 2024. Armstead is without a doubt, the best defensive tackle Jacksonville has had in several years.

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