The Jacksonville Jaguars will be looking for pass rushers of all sorts in the free agency period prior to the 2014 NFL season. One player in particular who might be a fit for the Jaguars is Seattle Seahawks linebacker O'Brien Schofield. He's a pass rushing linebacker who's dealt with injuries in his five year career, but was able to stay healthy through 16 games with the Seahawks in 2013.
In 2012 with the Arizona Cardinals, Schofield was on pace for a breakout season with four sacks through nine games until he injured his ankle and was placed on injured reserve. In a surprise move he was released prior to the start of training camp in 2013 and claimed by the Seahawks.
The Jaguars could have claimed him last offseason, but with his injury history and contract the team decided to pass. Now that he's played a full season injury free he could be on their radar as a SAM linebacker.
How Schofield fits Jacksonville
While Schofield finished the 2013 season with just a single sack, he was relegated to a backup role when the Seahawks got back Chris Clemons, Bruce Irvin and Cliff Avril from injury and/or suspension. He tallied the majority of his 145 snaps in the first four games while those three were out and notched a sack, four hurries and two hits on the quarterback from his linebacker position. In that span he graded out positively on Pro Football Focus overall, but as mentioned was buried on the bench when the Seahawks got healthy again.
The Jaguars are supposedly looking to add more pass rush from the linebacker position, with the goal of a LEO and a SAM backer being able to rush the quarterback. Schofield fits that role to a 'T' and showed he's capable of playing the SAM position in a similar defensive scheme. Schofield would immediately be an upgrade and starter at the outside linebacker position.
Schofield's fit with the Jaguars is beyond "He played for the Seahawks" however, as he was someone I mentioned last season when he was released that could be a fit if the Jaguars wanted to gamble on claiming him after his ankle injury.
How Much Will Schofield Cost
If a team is looking to take a big chance that Schofield is ready to break out, he could get a decent deal. More than likely however Schofield is going to be looking at a "prove it" type deal with one or two years, likely with bonuses related to his playing time and/or a roster bonus in the second season. That seems like the perfect type of deal the Jaguars can offer and take a shot on, especially with someone who fits and can improve their pass rush.