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Happy Monday, everyone! This is March. We’re in for a hell of a month when it comes to sports — March Madness, MLB spring training, free agency in the NFL, and more!
Here’s all the Jacksonville Jaguars news that’s fit to print, or find from around the Internet.
5 under-the-radar free agents targets for the Jaguars
After finishing 1-15 in 2020, the Jacksonville Jaguars have plenty of work to do this offseason if they want to turn things around. To their credit, they knew that they needed to make significant changes after having just one winning season in the last 13 years. They gave their coaching staff and front office a makeover and hired Urban Meyer as their head coach and Trent Baalke as their general manager on a permanent basis.
Here are five free agent targets who will not garner as much attention as others, they could still help the Jaguars in 2021.
BCC Q&A: How early will Trevor Lawrence start?
Let’s answer some questions just a few weeks out from the NFL free agency window opening!
BCC Mock Draft 1.0: Jaguars get a QB and DL
*wipes tear from eye*
It’s DRAFT SZN.
After a tumultuous season where the NFL powered through COVID-19 to the inevitable Tom Brady Super Bowl victory, the offseason has finally come ripe with quarterback trade requests (Russell Wilson?) and impending free agent decisions for every team. Teams will look to the NFL Draft to fill those gaps and look for the next talent that will put their team over the hump.
This mock draft is powered by the good people at The Draft Network, and I’m sure that all of these picks will happen in the exact order that I predict.
I purposely did no trades, but I could see many pick swaps happening in the first round.
Estimating Leonard Williams’ price tag in free agency
The Jacksonville Jaguars lead the NFL in total cap space with over $78.7 million available to be spent this offseason. Given defensive struggles during the 2020 season, especially against the run, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the team allocate at least some of that capital toward free-agent upgrades along the defensive line.
If Jacksonville wants to bring an immediate upgrade to its interior defensive line while also securing an answer for the long term, now is the time to do it. And if that’s the route it wants to go down, there’s one clear-cut option: Giants defensive end Leonard Williams. According to Spotrac, Williams’ market value is a five-year, $56.3 million contract. However, in their predictions post, they have Williams down for a four-year $80 million deal similar to that of Chris Jones, who has an average salary of $20 million.
Jaguars join AFC South in supporting those affected by winter storms
The Jaguars are teaming up with the other teams in the AFC South to help out the Houston community following the winter storms that have swept the state of Texas and surrounding areas. Alongside the Colts and Titans, the Jaguars will be giving a joint donation of $100,000 to the Houston/Harris County 2021 Winter Storm Relief Fund.
You can read more about the donation here.
How does Trevor Lawrence fit on this Jaguars team?
Trevor Lawrence has been the projected top pick for three years, but is he the elite franchise quarterback prospect that many have deemed him to be?
John Shipley examines here.
Why hasn’t JJ Watt signed with the Jaguars yet?
After ten seasons together, defensive end J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans mutually agreed to part ways not too long ago. Any team that is interested in upgrading their defensive line, including the Jaguars, should be looking for a way to get him. However, the Wisconsin standout hasn’t signed with anybody yet even though he’s free to do so at any time, and it’s fair to wonder what’s taking so long.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk believes there are two reasons why Watt hasn’t landed with a team yet. The first one is rather obvious; the salary cap will decrease this year and teams will have a limited budget to work with. On the other hand, Florio believes that teams are waiting to see which players are available in the open market.
There are currently no reports about any potential landing spots or offers for Watt. If money is really the biggest factor holding teams back from signing the All-Pro defensive end, he will probably have a small market for his services as there are currently three teams with $10 million or less in cap space and 13 others in the red.
Peyton Manning really likes Trevor Lawrence
Likely first overall pick Trevor Lawrence is already drawing lofty comparisons. As a prospect, he’s being compared to can’t-miss quarterbacks from over the years, such as John Elway, Andrew Luck, and recent Hall of Fame inductee Peyton Manning.
Speaking to the Charleston Post and Courier, Manning offered praise of Lawrence’s game as the passer prepares to make the jump to the next level.
“I like the way Trevor plays,” Manning said. “I like the way he competes and it’s been fun to see him develop between his freshman, sophomore and junior years. I’m excited for this next chapter for him.”
4 replacements at tight end for Tyler Eifert
The Jaguars need to give their roster a make-over after finishing 1-15 in 2020 and it seems like the first domino is about to fall. They will decline the 2021 team option on tight end Tyler Eifert’s contract, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. The team will free up $5.2 million in cap space this year while the Notre Dame product will become a free agent.
The decision didn’t come as a surprise as Eifert failed to have an impact on the field, hauling in 26 receptions for 349 yards and two touchdowns. While these aren’t bad numbers, this is not the kind of production a team should expect from a number one tight end, especially one making $5.2 million.
The Jaguars are set to have $77 million in cap space, so they could easily afford to pay Eifert’s salary this season. Nevertheless, they could use the space they save on other position groups or to sign an upgrade in free agency. While the Jaguars could trade up to take Kyle Pitts in the draft or take Pat Freiermuth late in the first round or early in the second, the open market will offer a few enticing options the Jacksonville should consider adding.
Keenan McCardell compares Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen to great Jaguars combo
Keenan McCardell has seen some pretty great receivers in his time as an NFL player and coach. He’s coached a lot of them during his time as a coach and, you know, he was one himself during his NFL career.
But McCardell has compared two of his newest charges, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, to one of the most dominant wide receiver pairings of the late 90s and early 2000s. That combo is the former pairing of Jimmy Smith and (get this!) Keenan McCardell.
Why the Jaguars should trade up to draft Kyle Pitts
There were many reasons why the Jaguars were able to win just one game last season and having one of the worst offenses in the NFL played a big role. They knew band-aid solutions wouldn’t work, so they cleaned the house and brought in Darrell Bevell to oversee that side of the ball.
Bevell has put a few top-5 scoring offenses on the field throughout his coaching career, so he could definitely kick start the Jaguars’ offense. However, if the team’s brass wants their offensive coordinator to succeed, they will need to get him a few playmakers this offseason.
5 not-so-bold predictions for the Jaguars in free agency
With less than a month to go before the NFL 2021 offseason breaks open with free agency, we look at the Jacksonville Jaguars needs, wants and likely scenarios when it comes to the free-for-all.
Here are five “not-so-bold” predictions for the Jaguars in free agency next month.