With the start of free agency almost upon us I thought I would take a stab at what I believe to be the most likely scenarios for the Jags in 2013 (please be gentle as this is my first post). I decided to focus on positions of need along with a few players at each position who I think would make sense given the situation the Jags are in.
There are a few things to keep in mind when looking at potential offseason moves from the Jags. First, they are in full re-build mode and have stated openly that there is very little chance they will be big players in free agency. There is hardly any doubt that with all the holes that this team has there will have to be some action in free agency, but I think it will be to a limited criteria. I believe they will be focusing on young players that have a high ceiling and who will not break the bank whenever possible.
With that in mind, below are some possible acquisitions that seem to make sense given the team need and the criteria I mentioned earlier. I have placed them in the order I would like to see them, but being realistic we will not be able to grab all of the top people on the list. Most of these type signings could be solid contributors for many years down the road which is what a 2-14 teams needs to be looking for in free agency.
Bradley Fletcher, STL (26 Yrs Old) – A young player who has shown flashes. He seems to have enough upside and with the large number of CB’s on the market, it would seem he could come at a reasonable price.
Kennan Lewis, PIT (26 Yrs Old) – Another young CB with inconsistencies, but has shown to be a very good cover corner. I doubt that Pittsburgh will let him walk, but he would be a nice pick up. I also worry about how much he would cost.
Derek Cox, JAX (26 Yrs Old) – We all know the story on this one. When healthy he can be dominant, but that has been few and far between. Given his age, I would think at the right cost, he would make a ton of sense to re-sign.
Brad Jones, GB (26 Yrs Old) – In what I consider to be a very weak free agent position, Jones has shown potential and the ability to play multiple LB positions. He should not be that expensive as he has never been a starter for a full season, but has been forced into the starting line up each year and has performed very well.
Phillip Wheeler, OAK (28 Yrs Old) – He has also played sparingly in the past, but has been very effective when on the field. He is not the strongest at stopping the run, but could fill in nicely for passing situations and is not a complete liability in stopping the run.
Donald Thomas, NE (26 Yrs Old) – Filled in very well for the Patriots due to injury and would compete for a starting job with the Jags. I do not believe he would come with a very high price tag, but could end up as a bargain. I must admit that I am not sure how the new zone blocking scheme will impact the O-line selections
Others on the radar – Louis Vazquez, SD (26 Yrs Old), Matt Slauson, NYJ (27 Yrs Old)
Gosder Cherilus, DET (28 Yrs Old) – He has been a solid starter for the Lions for the past few years and should come at a much lower price than some of the other Tackles on the market. He would probably be ranked below Vollmer if I did not think that New England was most likely going to re-sign him, and the fact he should come with a lower price tag.
Sebastian Vollmer, NE (28 Yrs Old) – While injuries have been an issue the past couple of years, he has still played at a very high level, and is one of the highest rated RT in all of football. I imagine he will get more than what the Jags are looking to pay
Others on the radar - Sam Baker, ATL (27 Yrs Old)
Allan Branch, SEA (27 Yrs Old) – Coming off a down year he may be more affordable than some other options with a a chance that he regains his form from 2011. Gus Bradley is very familiar with him, so if he feels he would be a good addition, there is no reason to argue. He is also familiar with the hybrid system so it could be a great fit
Desmond Bryant, OAK (26 Yrs Old) – He has had good years as both a pass rusher as well as a run defender, but has never really put the two together. He is still young and has a lot of upside.
Others on the radar – Terrance Knighton, JAX (26 Yrs Old); Sammie Lee Hill, DET (25 Yrs Old)