The Jacksonville Jaguars have finally hired on their offensive staff and with the NFL Combine coming up in just a few weeks, that means NFL free agency is just around the corner. The Jaguars figure to be heavy players this offseason in free agency and it's possible that can start with some of their own free agents.
Jacksonville doesn't really have any big time contributors hitting the open market, but they have a few role players who they would be better off bringing back than outright losing to another team.
Here's a rundown of the Jaguars impending free agents ranked by importance to the team:
Jacksonville Jaguars Unrestricted Free Agents
1. Tyson Alualu, DE/DT - Oh, the ire of many slapdick internet fans. Alualu put together a solid season of work for the Jaguars in 2014, rotating in behind newly signed Red Bryant and adding some to package downs on the inside as a defensive tackle. The former Top 10 pick found a niche for himself in Gus Bradley's defensive scheme showing versatility and the ability to hold up against the run as a strong side end. Alualu had a player option in the final year of his deal that he can opt out of (I think he did, but not sure) and if he does so, it's likely he can be re-signed on the cheap. Even if he's on his final year, he's still a cheap solid rotational option for the Jaguars going forward.
2. J.T. Thomas III, LB - Thomas filled in at multiple linebacker positions last year for the Jaguars, finally settling into the OTTO position before sliding inside to take over at middle linebacker when Paul Posluszny went down for the season. Thomas, at worst, is a good "fourth" linebacker and special teams player for the team. I can't imagine he'll cost much salary cap wise and linebacker is a position the Jaguars need to continue improving. Having Thomas on the roster does that.
3. Alan Ball, CB - Personally, I don't think I would bring Alan Ball back but that's only because of the fact that the Jaguars seem to have a lot of talented young players at the corner position. Demetrius McCray settled in as one of the team's starters and it appears Aaron Colvin is vying for the other. The team still has Dwayne Gratz, who's been up and down, as well as Will Blackmon. Ball would be good depth, but they also have guys like Jeremy Harris and Rashaad Reynolds who could make a push for roster spots.
4. Geno Hayes, LB - I don't think the Jaguars bring back Geno Hayes, but like Thomas he's good depth at the linebacker position and contribute on special teams. Hayes played better than most fans give him credit for, but with Telvin Smith taking over weakside linebacker, Hayes would be limited to the bench and special teams.
5. Cecil Shorts, WR - Call me crazy, but I still think re-signing Cecil Shorts wouldn't be a bad idea. Let him test free agency and see that the market won't really be there and bring him back on a short-term deal, because he won't command a lot of money. I tend to think the Jaguars are going to spend money on a receiver however, because they do need a proven veteran with the youngsters they have. It's likely Shorts will ply his trade somewhere else next year, though. Good for him, I hope he gets paid.
6. Sherrod Martin, S - I thought Martin would make the final roster, but he joined mid-way through the season after some injuries. I think the Jaguars will target free safety in free agency and the draft, but Martin is one of those guys who if you really want him back, will probably be available later in free agency.
7. Fendi Onobun, TE - Made up name. Honestly, I don't remember the Jaguars signing Onobun this season and I think he ended up on IR anyway. I doubt he's back, but tight end is a position I think the team will definitely target in free agency.
Restricted Free Agents
- Jordan Todman, RB
- Will Ta'ufo'ou, FB
- Teddy Williams, CB
- A.J. Edds, LB
- Jacques McClendon, OC/G (ERFA)
- Austin Pasztor, RT/G (ERFA)
- Ryan Davis, DE/DT (ERFA)