NFL clubs are putting the finishing touches on their roster ahead of the 2023 season. Some of them will look for outside help in order to either add depth or fill a starting role. In the Jacksonville Jaguars' case, they have a well-rounded safety room but Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report suggests the Jags go after veteran Logan Ryan before they face the Indianapolis Colts in the opener.
Ballentine compiled a list of the best free-agent options for each NFL club and chose Ryan for Jacksonville, noting that they have a pair of bookend safeties in Andre Cisco and Rayshawn Jenkins but not many established options behind them.
"At safety, Andre Cisco needs to break out in his third season. Rayshawn Jenkins is a solid veteran, but the depth is unproven beyond those two.
Logan Ryan would give them a veteran safety who has experience playing in the slot as well. His versatility and experience would be vital for a team trying to break through. The 32-year-old could get on the field as a third safety while being the backup plan at multiple positions."
A third-round pick by the New England Patriots in 2013, Ryan originally played safety but recently made the switch to safety. He has also spent time with the Tennessee Titans, the New York Giants and the Tampa Bay Buccanneers. Last season, he appeared in nine games with six starts for the Bucs. He's still going strong and could most definitely help a team. However, the Jags aren't in need of his services right now.
Behind Cisco and Jenkins, they have veteran Andrew Wingard, Daniel Thomas and rookie Antonio Johnson. Wingard made 15 starts for Jacksonville in 2021 and came come off the bench at any time. Thomas has also started in the past but hasn't gotten many chances due to the presence of Cisco and Jenkins.
Last but not least is Johnson, an enticing talent who's capable of lining up at multiple spots on defense. While he won't get many opportunities early on, he could have a huge impact down the road.
Safety isn't a need for the Jaguars (but the pass rush is)
The truth is that the Jaguars are set at safety, so Ryan would be an unnecessary addition. You could make the case that he could be a veteran presence in the locker but if the team's brass signed him, they could potentially hinder Antonio Johnson's development. That said, their pass rush could use a boost.
Throughout the offseason, Jacksonville had the chance to add a veteran option to their rotation but they opted not to. They showed interest in reuniting with defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and later hosted Jadeveon Clowney for a visit but ultimately passed on both.
The pass rush market has dried out and there aren't many remaining options left. Still, there are a few: Carlos Dunlap, Melvin Ingram and even Chase Winovich. They could also give the Philadelphia Eagles a call and inquire about defensive end Derek Barnett, who recently requested a trade and has previously played for head coach Doug Pederson.
The bottom line is there are certain position groups on the Jaguars' roster that could get upgrades but safety isn't one of them. Jacksonville has done a good job of developing players over the last two years. Heading into the 2023 season, they're in a position where they no longer have to consistently look for outside help to fill holes.