Jaguars free agency and draft rumors: No Johnny Manziel?

Joe Robbins

NFL free agency begins in a week, so what are some of the rumors floating around the Jacksonville Jaguars?

The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to make some moves during the 2014 NFL free agency period, but there are already some rumors floating around surrounding the NFL Draft and free agency.

Free Agency Rumors

We've mentioned before that veteran defensive end Jason Babin could be on the outs in a cost saving move, especially if the Jaguars are indeed going to be after a big time pass rusher in free agency. Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union mentioned that Babin could indeed be on the outs in his column on Tuesday.

While Babin is still somewhat of a productive player for the Jaguars and really their only true LEO on the roster, he's still 33 years old and carrying a $6 million cap hit. If the Jaguars are planning on signing a free agent and drafting a pass rusher in the first three rounds like most believe, dumping Babin also opens up snaps for the new free agent and a rookie to work with. Babin is too expensive to keep as a backup with that price tag and releasing him would actually somewhat off-set the cost of a higher priced free agent.

As O'Halloran mentions, Babin's release may not come this week, but I would expect it to happen sometime this month, likely after they sign someone else for the position.

O'Halloran also notes that Michael Bennett is likely off the list for the Jaguars, as most feel he's going to re-sign with the Seahawks which would likely require Chris Clemons being cut, which is a player the Jags could have interest in. He also mentions Michael Johnson, Lamarr Houston, Everson Griffen and Willie Young as possible LEO/DE targets.

With Alex Mack getting the transition tag, it also sounds like guard will be their priority with free agency. Which frankly, is a good thing. There are more good guards available than centers.

Draft Rumors

While most don't expect the Jaguars to use a high pick on a defensive back in the draft, that doesn't mean they're not interested.

The 5'10" 175 pound defensive back played corner for Ole Miss, but is also thought as someone who could be a safety convert. I'd assume with his size he would be viewed as the single-high center fielder type of safety that the Jaguars scheme employs. Sawyer ran 4.46s/4.51 40-yard dash, had a 37.5" vertical jump and 13 reps of 225 pounds on the bench/

On the Frank Frangie Show on 1010XL Monday afternoon, Ryan O'Halloran joined to talk Jaguars draft notes. Some noteworthy things he mentioned was that he was essentially told mid-season if the Jaguars picked at the top of the draft again they wouldn't be picking another offensive tackle, so that likely rules out Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews and the like from the No. 3 overall pick. He also didn't seem to think the Jaguars had any interest in picking Johnny Manziel with the No. 3 overall pick.

O'Halloran also seemed to indicate he felt the Jaguars top two targets were South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. He made it seem as if if either one of those players are available when the Jaguars pick, they will select them. I have a hard time seeing Clowney making it out of the Top 2, but it does seem to point to the Jaguars liking Bridgewater, mostly because he seems to be the one quarterback who can start immediately.

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