Well...so much for big splashes on Day Three of Free Agency.
The Jacksonville Jaguars came into the third day with a whole lot of cap space and some holes to address at tight end, slot corner, and EDGE. Yet, the third day was fairly quiet in Duval.
Here are my reactions to Day 3 of NFL Free Agency for the Jaguars:
If the Alex Smith rumors are true, trading Minshew is the smart choice
Ever since being released by the Washington Football Team, quarterback Alex Smith and the Jacksonville Jaguars have been joined at the hip when it comes to Smith’s next destination. It makes perfect sense, Smith is an experienced playcaller who can help ease a young QB into starting and has experience with Head Coach Urban Meyer.
However, that leaves one mustachioed QB as the odd man out. Gardner Minshew was a sensation for the Jaguars in 2019, who saved a lot of people from watching the atrocity that was Nick Foles. However, his play torpedoed into the St. Johns River in 2020, and trade rumors were swirling around his name on Day Three.
Trading Minshew is a smart play because you can get value for him. He’s 24 years old, has 23 starts in two seasons, and teams know what they’re going to get out of a player like Minshew. He’s not going to raise the ceiling of a team, but he won’t bottom out the floor. He could easily net a fourth or fifth round pick in this years draft. Getting value out of players that no longer fit or have had injury problems is what teams should be doing, especially with a first year coach looking to get players that work in his vision. Which leads us to...
“I will remember you...” Josh Oliver sent to Baltimore
According to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, the Jaguars are expected to send TE Josh Oliver to the Baltimore Ravens for a 2022 seventh-round pick if Oliver makes the team. This is a welcome reprieve for a player who really just couldn’t get healthy.
Oliver was a third round pick in 2019 for the Jaguars, one of the highest drafted TE’s to play for the Jaguars. However, Oliver only played in four games in two years, suffering multiple injuries before being traded. This was quite honestly writing on the wall for Oliver. Having re-signed TE James O’Shaughnessy and signed TE Chris Mahnertz, there’s only so much space for depth on the roster when it comes to the TE room. Oliver might have a higher athletic ceiling than both of those guys, but he just couldn’t stay healthy.
As for Jacksonville, this nets them more future draft picks, but the question remains: what the heck is this TE group? After trading away Oliver and not being expected to re-sign Tyler Eifert, there’s not a lot of high-end talent in the room. Where do they go from here? Gerald Everett signed a one-year, six million-dollar deal with the Seahawks, leaving the free agent TE pool filled with Jacob Hollister, Kyle Rudolph and Jared Cook. Trey Burton is also available, who was recruited to the University of Florida by Urban Meyer. Solid options, but not spectacular. The Jaguars could look to the draft where TE’s such as Florida’s Kyle Pitts, Penn State’s Pat Freiermuth and Miami’s Brevin Jordan loom. They could also call Cleveland and look into a trade for a guy like David Njoku. There are still options out there, but the room needs to be upgraded before Week One.
The Jaguars enter Day Four with about $42 million in cap space, and more gaps to fill, so here are my top 5 free agents left for the Jaguars entering the day:
- Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions
- Brian Poole, CB, New York Jets
- Anthony Harris, S, Minnesota Vikings
- Justin Houston, EDGE, Indianapolis Colts
- Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings