Analysis

Jacksonville Jaguars Free Agency Outlook

Jacksonville Jaguars Free Agency Preview

Despite the Jacksonville Jaguars finishing with a 3-14 record in a year that saw a lot of organizational turmoil, they still managed to finish the year on a high note as they upset the heavily favored Indianapolis Colts, eliminating them from playoff contention in the process while maintaining the first pick in the upcoming draft. Now, Jacksonville heads into the 2022 season with Super Bowl LII Champion head coach and 33rd Team alumnus Doug Pederson as they look to build off a promising end of the year. Jacksonville has approximately $39 million in cap space to work with in order to put a promising roster around second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence. 

Impending Free Agents:

  • LG Andrew Norwell
  • IDL Taven Bryan
  • EDGE Jihad Ward
  • CB Tre Herndon
  • LB Damien Wilson
  • TE James O’Shaughnessy
  • CB Nevin Lawson
  • EDGE Adam Gotsis 
  • WR Tavon Austin
  • EDGE Lèrentee McCray
  • TE Jacob Hollister
  • LB Tyrell Adams
  • WR Jaydon Mickens
  • WR Laquon Treadwell
  • P Jake Scott
  • RT Will Richardson
  • LB Dakota Allen (RFA)
  • RB Dare Ogunbowale (RFA)
  • TE Kahale Warring (RFA)
  • S Andrew Wingard (RFA)
  • LB Chapelle Russell (ERFA)
  • WR Terry Godwin (ERFA)
  • EDGE Jamir Jones (ERFA)
  • RB Mekhi Sargent (ERFA)

The Jaguars head into this offseason with a number of pending free agents who made their mark on last year’s roster in some fashion. Among this extensive list of free agents are at least seven starters from last year’s team, including receivers D.J. Chark and Laquon Treadwell, EDGE Jihad Ward, and interior offensive linemen Andrew Norwell and A.J. Cann. The most important free agent for the Jaguars could very well be the aforementioned Chark, who has shown flashes as a complementary receiver at the NFL level. With the Jaguars struggling for most of the season on the offensive side of the ball, it would not be surprising in the least if Jacksonville tried to retain Chark and give more weapons for Lawrence to pass to. Still, with around $39 million in cap space, the Jaguars could do a decent amount of spending to partially get away from some of the ailments they had this past season. 

Franchise Tag:

  • Franchise Tag Used on LT Cam Robinson

For the second year in a row, the Jaguars elected to use their exclusive franchise tag on left tackle Cam Robinson. The former Alabama Crimson Tide OL has been an integral part of the Jaguars’ offensive line since arriving to the team in 2017, and Jacksonville made it clear that they want to keep some continuity on Trevor Lawrence’s blindside. Robinson will be due $16.662 million under the franchise tag this upcoming season, and Jacksonville will be able to sign him to a long-term extension by July 15th. 

Top Team Needs:

  1. Offensive Line 
  2. Wide Receiver
  3. Pass Rush Help
  4. Tight End
  5. Secondary Depth

The Jaguars have many needs heading into this offseason, especially after a tumultuous season despite the positivity at the end, but none may be bigger than the offensive line. It’s not to say that the entire offensive line needs a rehaul, but the interior and right tackle position could seriously be upgraded. 

With the first pick in the draft, many people are speculating that the Jaguars could take Alabama OT Evan Neal, but the Jaguars will need more than just him to give Trevor Lawrence much more time in the pocket than he was accustomed to in his rookie campaign. Moreover, giving Lawrence more weapons in the passing game would do absolute wonders for not only his stats, but also his confidence. The Jaguars’ leading receiver last season was veteran Marvin Jones with 832 yards; however, it is clear that the Jags will have to get younger at this position so that the veteran isn’t forced to take on a bigger load than he should at this point in his career. 

Moreover, the Jaguars could also use some help at tight end despite trading for veteran Dan Arnold last season. Arnold is a solid player, but he does not figure to be the long-term answer at the position. Having a security blanket at tight end could go a long way in the development of a young quarterback. 

On the defensive side of the ball, the Jaguars showed some flashes of what could happen with some more development, especially in a 9-6 win against the Buffalo Bills. Still, there were far more negatives than positives on this side of the ball, and with Jihad Ward and a number of other EDGE defenders set to hit free agency, Doug Pederson and company could look to add some much-needed talent to take some of the pressure off of star EDGE Josh Allen. Lastly, in the secondary, the Jaguars see a number of depth pieces potentially hit the free agency market, and with a unit that gave up 227.9 passing yards per game, they could look to add more players to help round out that unit.