(Re-posting this, so we're all up to date)
The 2012 NFL Free Agency season is nearly upon us, as the franchise tag deadline has passed and we can now get a good feel for who will actually hit the open market. The Jacksonville Jaguars will not likely sign as many impact free agents as they did in the 2012, but I would still expect the Jaguars to make some noise in free agency this offseason.
Don't worry about the #Jaguars "cap number". They have plenty of room and can create more if they need to.— Alfie Crow (@AlfieBCC) March 13, 2012
The Jaguars have a few key free agents of their own, including defensive end Jeremy Mincey who looks like he may hit the open market after the Jaguars used their franchise tag on kicker Josh Scobee. The Jaguars also have pending free agents in Rashean Mathis, Williams Middleton, Leger Douzable, Courtney Greene, Dwight Lowery, and Russell Allen. I would expect most, if not all, of those players to return to the Jaguars in 2012.
The franchise tags came down fast and furious on Monday, prior to the 4 p.m. ET deadline as expected. Most free agents who were expected to be tagged got tagged, but there were still a few who curiously didn't receive the dag. Now that the free agent pool has been set, it's time to actually look at what's on the market.
While it's easy to say wide receiver is the biggest need for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the defensive end position is really the big area of concern. The Jaguars leading sacker in Jeremy Mincey is slated to hit free agency now that the franchise deadline has passed, and the field of players has been thinned out by the likes of Cliff Avril, and Calais Campbell getting the franchise tag and Robert Mathis signing a long term deal. There are however some impact players available, and I would like to think the Jaguars will take a big swing at one of them, being as it's been an area of need for quite a while, even with the emergence of Jeremy Mincey.
Here are a few defensive ends on the open market that the Jaguars could show interest in:
The wide receiver position has been a grave area of concern for nearly a decade. Even back in 2003 when the Jacksonville Jaguars had Jimmy Smith at the wide out position, it was still a big hole opposite him. The team has been throwing players at it ever since, but there should be some players in free agency the Jaguars can target to help out the position. The market suffered somewhat of a blow when Buffalo Bills re-signed Stevie Johnson to a new deal. Furthermore, DeSean Jackson, Wes Welker, and Dwayne Bowe were all franchised by their respective teams limiting the market a bit.
Here are a few wide receivers the Jaguars could have interest in:
Marques Colston(re-signed with Saints)
Robert Meachem(signed with Chargers)
Josh Morgan(signed with Redskins)
- Brandon Lloyd
Harry Douglas(re-signed with Falcons)
- Jerome Simpson
- Greg Camarillo
- Steve Smith
The defensive backfield was a bit of a strength for the Jaguars last season after being a gaping hole of yardage in 2010, but it was ravaged with injuries and those injuries will carry over into the 2012 season. The team has plans to bring back Rashean Mathis, but he's coming off a torn ACL and is in his 30's. Derek Cox is also recovering from a season ending injury, while William Middleton and Dwight Lowery are both currently free agents. The Jaguars will likely be targeting a defensive back, or two, in this free agency period.
Here are some defensive backs the Jaguars could be interested in:
Dwight Lowery(re-signed with Jaguars)
- Tracy Porter
Cortland Finnegan(signed with Rams)
- Brandon Carr
Carlos Rogers(re-signed with 49ers)
Terrell Thomas(re-signed with Giants)
- Richard Marshall