Jaguars dubbed a landing spot for highly versatile O-Lineman in free agency

• The Jaguars would be the perfect home for this Patriots offensive lineman, or so PFF says.

Dec 7, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  New England Patriots guard Mike Onwenu (71) blocks
Dec 7, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots guard Mike Onwenu (71) blocks / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars are bringing back most of their offensive line from last year. Besides re-signing Ezra Cleveland, they've reworked Brandon Scherff's deal, ensuring he stays in 2024. That said, the Jags could still make a move at left tackle, and Dalton Wasserman of Pro Football Focus thinks that signing Michael Onwenu would give them plenty of flexibility upfront.

Wasserman wrote about each team's best free-agent fit and chose Onwenu for Jacksonville, noting that their offensive line could use a boost after failing to adequately protect Trevor Lawrence last year. He suggests that the Jags move sophomore Anton Harrison to the left side and plug in Onwenu at right tackle, where he's got ample experience.

"He’s most comfortable at right tackle but also has plenty of experience at guard. The Jaguars may do some shuffling if they cut Cam Robinson and/or Brandon Scherff. Anton Harrison could move back to his natural position on the left side, as well. Either way, Onwenu would be a fit based on his prior production, versatility and prowess in Doug Pederson’s inside-zone run game."

Onwenu has shown the flexibility to play multiple positions across the offensive line and do it well. Last year, he posted a 71.5 Pro Football Focus overall grade while lining up at both right guard and right tackle. On 505 offensive snaps, he allowed three sacks and 23 total pressures.

Back in 2021, Onwenu had an 87.0 PFF score while splitting time at both guard spots. He is No. 26 on PFF's list of the top 200 players set to hit free agency and is projected to get a contract that pays him an annual average of $14.5 million. All things considered, that's a reasonable amount for a player who's fared well at right tackle.

Then again, the Jaguars would need to create a bit of cap room if they wanted to pursue Onwenu. After re-signing Cleveland and restructuring Brandon Scherff's deal, they have around $21 million in space. They'll need a bit more if they want to make an effort to re-sign Calvin Ridley and have enough left to make a couple signings in free agency.

The Jacksonville Jaguars may have no room for Michael Onwenu

Michael Onwenu would be a great addition to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team's brass could certainly find a way to work him in the budget. They just structure Ezra Cleveland's contract in a way in which he'll count for a reasonable $18 million the next three years. They could do something similar with Onwenu if they wanted to make a run for him.

That said, the Jags would need to release Cam Robinson to make it happen. With Cleveland and Brandon Scherff firmly entrenched inside, the coaching staff would need to move sophomore Anton Harrison to left tackle to pave the way for Onwenu on the right side.

On top of that, it's uncertain if Jacksonville wants to make significant moves in the offensive trenches. They say they expect Robinson back in 2024, and Doug Pederson told the media at the NFL scouting combine that he liked last year's group, noting that they could benefit from playing more time together. Based on the moves the front office has made ahead of free agency, it looks like they don't plan to make wholesome changes upfront.

Maybe the Jaguars will change their mind and move on from Cam Robinson. That would create a clear path for Michael Onwenu to join the offensive line. Then again, they seem to be comfortable with their current group, which may lead them to bolster other positions in free agency.

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