Jacksonville Jaguars 3 worst moves of the 2023 offseason
2. The Jaguars weren't able to retain DE Arden Key in free agency
The Jacksonville Jaguars were good at creating pressure last season but they struggled to rack up sacks, ranking 25th in the NFL in that category. You would think that fortifying the pass rush was one of the team's top priorities ahead of the offseason but they didn't do much to improve it and instead focused on adding depth to the defensive line.
That approach would have been justified if they had brought back defensive end Arden Key but that wasn't the case. In fact, letting him walk in free agency was dubbed their biggest offseason, and it's easy to see why. The former LSU Tiger registered only 4.5 sacks in 2022 but made up for it by logging 44 total pressures. Moreover, his ability to play multiple roles in defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell's scheme allowed his teammates to find more favorable matchups.
With Key no longer in place, outside linebacker Travon Walker is expected to make strides in Year 2. Also, outside linebacker Yasir Abdullah and defensive end Tyler Lacy could fill the void Key left down the road but asking them to have an impact right out of the gate might be too much to ask for a pair of rookies.
It's true that Key exaggerated the importance he had in Jacksonville last year but that doesn't diminish his contributions. The silver lining is that the Jaguars still have the chance to sign either Yannick Ngakoue or Frank Clark if they think their young players aren't progressing the way they expected.