To no one’s surprise the Jacksonville Jaguars have brought free agent quarterback Nick Foles into the fold. On Wednesday when NFL free agency officially begins he will put pen to paper on a 4-year, $88 million deal with $50 million guaranteed. We don’t know the structure of the contract yet so it’s hard to pin down how much cap room the Jaguars currently have, but they should not be done in free agency right now.
I would have to imagine the Jaguars will structure Fole’s deal in such a way with a signing bonus to where the 2019 cap hit is lower, much like they did with Blake Bortles deal last season, so they can add more help. As the offense stands right now, just replacing Bortles with Foles helps but it’s not good enough.
I think the Jaguars should still target a wide receiver and an offensive lineman, at the very least in free agency. There are some bargain free agent tight ends that will be available for a little bit, such as former Jaguars Marcedes Lewis and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, however they need to add a skill position player in some regard.
In the receiver end I think the perfect addition would be Golden Tate, and not just because he played a little bit with Nick Foles last season. Tate is someone the Jaguars targeted before he went to the Detroit Lions in free agency but he also provides them someone that is dangerous with the ball in his hands. Currently they don’t have that outside of Dede Westbrook, so you need more of them. Foles is a quarterback who is going to hit a lot of quicker shorter passes, so adding players like Westbrook, Tate or John Brown make sense.
The tight end market is a little weird, as most of the top guys are off the market now. Unless you’re going to gamble on someone like Jared Cook, you’re looking to the 2019 NFL Draft for that position, maybe even as high as seventh overall.
The other thing the team needs to do is find a veteran starter at either right guard or right tackle. We know who they have at left tackle through center and they’re good enough, but the whole right side of the line needs to be replaced and they shouldn’t be trying to rely on a rookie + Will Richardson. Richardson couldn’t even sniff the game day roster last year, so I have no faith he will be ready to start in 2019.
You could gamble on someone like Daryl Williams at right tackle coming off injury or a cheap option like Mike Remmers or Jordan Mills. I don’t know that they want to pay would it cost to bring in the likes of Rodger Saffold, but if you can make it work make it work. You’re trying to win now, so sort out the cap later.