One thing that is certain about the offseason for the Jacksonville Jaguars is that the team needs to figure out the quarterback position. With Blake Bortles likely to be cut and Cody Kessler proving incapable of leading an offense, the Jaguars are likely to look at options through both free agency and the draft, and possibly even a trade.
One such name that has been linked to Jacksonville is Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. While Flacco still has time remaining on his current contract, it is all but certain that Baltimore will be moving on from its Super Bowl-winning quarterback this offseason due to the emergence of Lamar Jackson.
According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, there is mutual interest between Jacksonville and Flacco’s camp. La Canfora, citing “league sources,” writes that the Jaguars have had internal conversations about the veteran signal-caller.
Now, let’s take this information with a grain of salt, as La Canfora hasn’t been the most reliable source when reporting on the Jaguars. He is a veteran reporter and I am sure he does his due diligence, but the most recent example is when La Canfora speculated that Tom Coughlin will be coaching the Jaguars in 2019, and then completely flaked out on the 1010XL Mid-Day Chalk Show when he was called out on his reporting.
This was an idea that never held much weight with us here on Big Cat Country, either.
Where La Canfora does make a good point, however, is the fact that Dave Caldwell already has a good relationship with new Ravens general manager Eric Decosta. While Decosta was just appointed as general manager on January 11, he was assistant general manager alongside Ozzie Newsome, and has been with the Ravens organization for several years. The Ravens and Jaguars have worked together on trade deals like Eugene Monroe and Luke Bowanko in recent seasons. So, if the Jaguars were interested in treading for Flacco, the two GMs would be comfortable with each other. Though, all final decisions on Jacksonville’s end would go through Coughlin.
My question is, though, why trade for Flacco and give up a draft pick when in all likelihood he will be available in free agency? The Jaguars wouldn’t have to give up a whole lot to acquire Flacco — probably a mid or late round pick — but why give up anything at all when you can sign him in March? Flacco is set to make $18.5 million in 2019 (but he also doesn’t have anymore guarantees or bonuses remaining). I am sure he’s going to want something equivalent to that salary, or possibly more than that, but free agency gives you the opportunity to negotiate.
I don’t believe they’ll be a strong trade market for Flacco, but if the Jaguars really think he is the answer, and they think another team may make an offer for him, then I suppose it makes sense to trade for him. But, again, I doubt that will be the case because every NFL organization knows Flacco is likely to be a cap casualty this offseason.
La Canfora also thinks the Jaguars are interested in Nick Foles and Ryan Tannehill.
Tannehill still has two years left on his current contract with the Miami Dolphins, but his tenure has been filled with injuries and inconsistent play, and the new regime in Miami (likely to hire New England Patriots linebacker coach Brian Flores as head coach when possible) may just want to move on and start from scratch. I’m not sure he would be the solution in Jacksonville, anyway.
Foles has proven has a very capable and clutch quarterback in a limited sample size. His contract situation is an interesting one. From my understanding, there is a mutual option for 2019. The Eagles can opt to extend Foles’ contract through 2019 with a $20 million price tag (which later becomes a fully guaranteed deal), and Foles can then agree to stay in Philly or opt out and test free agency. Both Philly and Foles know there will be a market for him, so the Eagles are likely to do what they can to retain him and try to recoup some of his value via trade. The Eagles have salary cap issues, though, and may opt out of the deal rather than agreeing to pay a backup quarterback $20 million. The issue here is that the Jaguars may not be able to/willing to afford Foles’ asking price in free agency.
At this point, this is nothing more than speculation. The Jaguars are highly likely to draft a quarterback early in April, and are almost certainly going to sign/trade for a veteran this offseason to pair with the rookie, though which specific player that is remains to be seen. We have written earlier articles regarding whether or not the Jaguars should go after Foles or look into Flacco.
What do you think is the best course of action for Jacksonville? Let us know in the comments section.