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Peter King: Chance Jaguars target Buccaneers DE/OLB Shaquil Barrett

With free agency’s negotiation window set to open today, the Jaguars could be major players in the two-day event leading up to the new league year.

Super Bowl LV Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Jaguars could be in the hunt for another pass rusher early in the 2021 NFL free agency negotiation period. According to NBC Sports’ Peter King, the Jaguars could be in play for a big-time pass rusher, Shaquil Barrett who has played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the past two seasons.

The two-day event typically consists of reported “deals” that teams will agree with players on prior to their officially signing when the new league year begins. This year’s window will open later today at 12 p.m. ET. The official start of the new league year is on March 17. at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Barrett, 28, has been one of the league’s most-productive pass rushers during his time in Tampa Bay.

Over the past two seasons, Barrett has accumulated 27.5 sacks 53 quarterback hits. He racked up 19.5 of those sacks in 2019 and was subsequently franchise tagged by the team. He was not this year, however, as the Buccaneers continued to find solutions with its cap space.

According to Pro Football Focus, however, Barrett incredibly productive in the pressures department, racking up the second-most in the NFL with 77. The most-productive pass rusher (Aaron Donald) accumulated 98.

The Jaguars have been focused on revamping its defensive line this offseason; head coach Urban Meyer says it is the first wave of players that will be addressed on defense.

“You look at a defense that really struggled in a lot of areas and I always believe you build your team around the defensive line and you move backwards, so that’s what we’re going to do,” Meyer said earlier this month.

“Our defensive line, we feel good about it, a few of our players are pretty good. I just don’t want to go into names right now. I don’t think that’s fair to the players. But the defensive line will be solidified first and then we move to the back of the defense and our defensive secondary needs to be revamped in a few spots.”

It may take a lot for the Jaguars to bring in Barrett, but don’t be surprised if the defensive line/pass-rush unit is the first they do target in free agency later today and in the coming days.

A couple of names to look out for includes New York Giants defensive tackle Devin Tomlinson and Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker/defensive end Matthew Judon.

Aside from the defensive line, keep an eye out for names such as Pittsburgh Steelers nickel cornerback Mike Hilton, Tennessee Titans tight end Jonnu Smith, Carolina Panthers receiver Curtis Samuel, Los Angeles Chargers TE Hunter Henry and Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson.