It's the morning after the first night of 2012 NFL free agency and now that the dust has settled, it's time to take a quick look at what all went down. The Washington Redskins snapped up three receivers off the market while the San Diego Chargers snatched up Robert Meachem. The wide receiver pool became further thinned out when Vincent Jackson signed a mega contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Jaguars meanwhile are currently hosting wide receiver Laurent Robinson.
It looked like the Jaguars got caught with their pants down regarding wide receivers and the fact that the Buffalo Bills have plans to make Mario Williams the highest paid defensive player in the league. Couple that with the reports of multiple teams pursuing Jeremy Mincey, including the Chicago Bears making a heavy push to re-sign him, it looked as if the Jaguars were going to whiff out of the gate and their team get worse at the same time, losing their best pass rusher to free agency.
The Jaguars just got started a little late, that's all.Late in the evening the news broke that the Jaguars re-signed starting safety Dwight Lowery, who was also mulling over offers from other teams. The Jaguars were able to sign Lowery to a four-year deal, but the terms of the deal have yet to be released. "Teammates, they - when I was in New York I didn't really connect with my teammates the way I did in Jacksonville. There were a lot of factors going on. ... It was done right," Lowery told Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union over the phone.
More good news for the Jaguars broke later in the evening, when the team agreed to a four-year deal the Jeremy Mincey, worth a maximum of $27.2 million with $9 million guaranteed. While it might look like a lot of money overall, the key to the deal is the guaranteed number, which isn't very high. Compared to the deal Aaron Kampman signed before the 2010 season, Mincey got less guaranteed money but more salary.
While bringing back two key starters to the defense is big, it still keeps the Jaguars in somewhat of a holding pattern, as far as improving the team. The team right now is essentially the same team it was at the end of 2011, but a source with the team tells me the Jaguars aren't done yet in free agency. While unlikely, a player like Mario Williams is still on the table. The Jaguars also still need to actually sign a wide receiver to a contract to improve the offense, but if the team can shore up their defensive line with the addition of another proven pass rusher, it will give the team ultimate freedom in the NFL Draft.
The Jaguars rebounded from a slow start in free agency, but that just got them back to status quo. There is still work to be done.