The 2023 season didn't end the way return specialist/wide receiver Jamal Agnew would've wanted. Not only were the Jacksonville Jaguars knocked out of playoff contention by the Tennessee Titans in the finale but he also suffered a lower leg injury in Week 17 that forced him to sit out the divisional bout. On the bright side, he's doing well after undergoing surgery.
Agnew has been pretty active on social media lately, answering questions from fans. User @WoodleBrett14 asked him how he was doing, and the former San Diego Torero responded that the surgery went well and should be 100 percent by June. Whether that's in Jacksonville or somewhere else though, it remains to be seen.
In a different exchange, a different user wrote that he believed inefficient coaching was the reason for the team's late-season collapse. However, Agnew refused to assign blame to anyone and instead said that everyone failed to do their job.
Agnew is right. A player may fail to execute on any given play. Similarly, coaches might not always dial up the right play. However, to lose four straight games, it takes a team effort. Both the offense and the defense, players and coaches had a role in the Jaguars' meltdown. If you want to dig deeper, general manager Trent Baalke deserves criticism as well for not making enough upgrades to the roster last offseason.
A fifth-round pick by the Detroit Lions in 2017, Agnew became an All-Pro returner as a rookie. After a four-year stint in Motor City, he signed a three-year deal with the Jaguars in an effort to improve their special teams' play. Right off the bat, the California native had an impact, returning a kickoff and a failed field goal for touchdowns in back-to-back weeks. He was also one of their few bright spots on offense, giving the Jaguars a spark whenever he was on the field.
The following two years, Agnew didn't score a touchdown on a return. However, he consistently gave the Jaguars a favorable field position. On top of that, he delivered when he moonlighted as a receiver, hauling in 37 receptions for 412 yards with four touchdowns in 2022-2023 combined.
Jamal Agnew may not be with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2024
Unfortunately, Angew was marred by injuries this past season, first suffering rib and shoulder injuries that sidelined him for four weeks. He then fractured his lower leg injury when reeling in a 48-yard pass from C.J. Beathard.
Agnew has fulfilled the three-year contract he signed in 2021, and is set to hit the open market in March. From an outside perspective, it's hard to tell if re-signing him is in the Jags' long-term plans. Either way, it doesn't look like he's already braced himself for the possibility of walking. If he does leave, the front office will then be tasked with finding a replacement.
When Agnew has been out, rookie wide receiver Parker Washington and running back D'Ernest Johnson have handled returned duties. However, neither one is as good as Agnew, so it will be worth monitoring what path the Jaguars end up taking. For the time being, he's focused on making sure he can make a full recovery after undergoing surgery.