The Jacksonville Jaguars missed out on prized free agent Olivier Vernon late Wednesday afternoon, when the New York Giants decided to make him the highest paid defensive end in NFL history. Reportedly the Jaguars were right there, money-wise, but the Giants were able to reel him in on the dotted line. It's a big miss for the Jaguars, who had made him their primary target, but will not focus on other pass rushers on the market, such as New York Giants defensive end Robert Ayers.
The name to watch in Jacksonville now that Vernon is gone? Robert Ayers. Jaguars still covet other pass rushers, like Ayers, on the market.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) March 9, 2016
Ayers is a player I mentioned the Jaguars could be interested in prior to the start of free agency, because he seemed like that perfect second tier get as a pass rusher. I also wasn't sure they would make Vernon a priority, which they ultimately did and whiffed.
Ayers, 30, has kind of come into his own as a steady pass rusher since breaking his "draft bust" label with the Denver Broncos and played well for the New York Giants last year with Jason Pierre-Paul out with the hand injury. Ayers should be able to slot right in as a rotational option at the LEO spot with Dante Fowler and wouldn't preclude the Jaguars from drafting another pass rusher in the NFL Draft.