On the second day of the league’s official “legal negotiating period”, the Jaguars reportedly agreed to terms, with Schobert to a five-year $53,750,000 deal with $22,000,000 guaranteed. We broke down the contract details here.
In Schobert the Jaguars get a true middle linebacker who is great at diagnosing plays, getting players lined up in pre-snap, along with coverage over the middle of the field — something the Jaguars have struggled with for a long time.
Schobert made the Pro Bowl as an alternate following the 2018 season, and has tallied 394 tackles (228 solo), 20 passes defensed, 8.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles and six interceptions in his career. His 378 tackles since 2017 are the fourth-most in the NFL.
“We really feel great about the things Joe has been able to do and what he adds to our team,” said Head Coach Doug Marrone. “He brings an ability to tackle and diagnose plays. He’s a true middle linebacker and has played it at a high level. He’s really going to help us, not only at the MIKE linebacker position, but he also helps us overall across our whole linebacking corps.”
Marrone indicated linebacker Myles Jack would be moving to outside linebacker, from middle linebacker. The move would be his third since being drafted by the team in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Jack began his career as an outside linebacker, primarily playing SAM (strong-side linebacker).
In 2017, he alternated with retired Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluzney — playing middle linebacker on obvious passing downs, while playing SAM on early downs. In 2018, Jack made a full-time switch to middle linebacker and ultimately signed a four-year $57 million just prior to the season beginning.
“..I feel is a more natural position for him. Myles and I spoke about the change and he’s excited,” said Marrone.
A move to weak-side linebacker has been a long time coming for the rangy linebacker. Jack is best used when he’s allowed to roam, letting his instincts take over with much less to think about or diagnose. After the team lost linebacker Telvin Smith to retirement, the Jaguars attempted to do just that by signing former Packers linebacker Jake Ryan, however Ryan was never able to get healthy and was released earlier this year.
This will mark the first time in Jack’s career that he will play weak-side linebacker.
While Schobert will still need to undergo a physical to officially sign with the team, that is simply a tad more than a formality at this time.