The Jacksonville Jaguars have been relatively quiet in free agency and their biggest move so far has been re-signing safety Andrew Wingard to a three-year contract worth $9.6 million that includes up to $4.2 million in incentives.
Ian Rapoport o NFL Media first reported the news and the Jags later announced the move. Wingard then took to social media to say that, "It's time to bring a Super Bowl to Jacksonville".
"Duval County, it was always the Jags. Let's go", Wingard said. "Dewey Wingard here. "So stoked to be back. I cannot wait to run this thing back. It's time to bring the Super Bowl to Jacksonville, let's go. Fans, we need you as well, just like the end of the year last year against the Titans, against the Chargers. That's what we need week in, week out. The boys are dialed. I'm back. It was always the Jags, let's go. Duuuval."
Wingard signed with Jacksonville after going undrafted in 2019. He moved his way up the depth chart and became the full-time starter in 2021. Although he took on a reserve role last season, the former Wyoming Cowboys was still a valuable contributor on defense and special teams. Moreover, he became an important voice in the locker room and came up with the "It was always the Jag" rallying cry during the team's playoff push late in the season.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have the pieces to make a deep playoff run in 2023
Andrew Wingard has improved considerably over the last two years. As recently as 2021, the Jaguars' decision to give him the starting job over rookie Andre Cisco, who had more upside at the time, raised eyebrows. Although nobody will say with a straigth face that Wingard is a Pro Bowler, his presence has been valuable for the Jacksonville Jaguars on and off the field, which is why they brought him back.
Even though re-signing Wingard isn't the kind of move that will make national headlines, having him back shows the team's brass values him. Barring serious injury to Cisco or Rayshawn Jenkins, Wingard won't see much playing time but he's one of several unsung players that played a role in the Jaguars' turnaround in 2022.
The Jaguars don't have much cap space this offseason, which limits his ability to make splash signings in free agency. Then again, they're in a good position after making the playoffs and winning the AFC South last year. Rather than make significant changes, they need to restock a few positions and they can wait until the 2023 NFL Draft to do it.
The Jacksonville Jaguars spent the last two seasons fortifying their roster. They're now trying to keep as many pieces as possible to ensure they have a shot at returning to the playoffs and getting over the hump. While bringing back the player known as Dewey won't move the needle, it shows the team is committed to picking up where they left off in 2022.