The Jacksonville Jaguars have struggled rushing the pass with their front four early in the games and it’s starting to become one of the biggest deficiencies in the preseason.
The team is without two players who accounted for one third of the team’s sacks in Chris Clemons and Sen’Derrick Marks, but the lack of pressure the team has been able to consistently apply against team’s starters is becoming worrisome to the point that I think the Jaguars should make a drastic move at the position.
And I think the Jaguars should see what it would take to trade for Seattle Seahawks pass rusher Bruce Irvin and explore the possibility of signing Aldon Smith.
Hear me out.
On the Aldon Smith front, he’s going to be suspended for most, if not all, of the 2015 season and it does not help you in the immediate. However, for the future it has the possibility be a massive boon for the team going forward if he can keep his head on straight. I don’t view Smith in the same light as someone like Greg Hardy or Junior Gallette, but you have to recognize he’s an off-the-field concern.
Smith’s issues have been with alcohol and DUIs, but he’s still shown up on the field. Do your due diligence and protect yourself contractually of course, but stick a baby sitter on him and bring him in.
It’s a low-risk move that can pay huge dividends over the next few seasons if you can keep him out of trouble.
Now for the more immediate, I think the Jaguars should explore a potential trade for Bruce Irvin. Irvin, who’s in the final year of his rookie deal and doesn’t appear likely to re-sign for Seattle, would be a great addition to the Jaguars while Dante Fowler Jr. is out with a torn ACL and for the future. The Jaguars are very likely going to target another pass rusher in the 2016 offseason be it in free agency or the NFL Draft, so why not try take care of that a year early?
We know that Irvin fits what Gus Bradley likes to do with his pass rushers and we’ve seen him have success with Irvin in the past. I know it’s another silly Seahawks connection, but it makes so much sense. Andre Branch has done his usual look good in training camp and disappear in the preseason act and is in the final year of his deal and certainly hasn’t done anything to warrant being re-signed.
Clemons is likely not going to be back next season given his age, play and cap number. Ryan Davis is a great depth/package player, but he’s still mostly effective rushing on the inside and Chris Smith has shown promise, but you still need more bodies to come off the edge.
I don’t know what it would take to pry Irvin from the Seahawks, but I’d be comfortable giving up as much as a second-round pick, given you also will have to hand him a big contract in the process, which the Jaguars can easily do.