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Happy Friday, everyone! Before you go watch the WandaVision season finale, let’s talk football.
Here’s all the Jacksonville Jaguars news that’s fit to print, or find from around the Internet.
Hunter Henry would be a perfect free agent signing
Jacksonville has more than $82 million in cap space to work with, so it stands to reason that we can expect the Jaguars to be big spenders during free agency this offseason. Coming off a 1-15 season that granted them the first overall pick, they obviously have a lot of areas on the roster that need to be addressed.
It’s likely that the Jaguars will try to address the offensive and defensive trenches, but with a young receiving corps that is promising (albeit potentially missing a piece or two), it could try to give Lawrence an elite target in the passing game. NFL.com thinks it has the answer.
In a rundown of the best free agent fits for each AFC team, the Jaguars were matched with tight end Hunter Henry.
Jaguars to enter 2021 with fourth-highest adjusted cap
The Jaguars got more good news this week as it pertains to their standing with the salary cap heading into the 2021 offseason.
ESPN’s Field Yates reported the finalized adjusted cap figures for each NFL team on Thursday, numbers that are officially set 14 days before the league year each season. The Jaguars, predictably, are among the teams with the highest adjusted salary cap figure, meaning their cap room this offseason is actually set to be more than whatever the cap ceiling will ultimately be set at.
Under CBA rules first implemented in 2011, teams are allowed to carry unused cap space into the following season. The Jaguars are bringing an extra $26,740,156 to the table this offseason, the fourth-highest among all teams.
Allen Robinson wants to play with Trevor Lawrence
The Jaguars have a couple of good wide receivers in Laviska Shenault and DJ Chark. However, they could round out their receiving corps by signing Allen Robinson, who will arguably be one of the best free agents available this offseason and has positive things to say about Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the projected first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Robinson recently appeared in The Chris Collinsworth’s Podcast to talk about this future. When discussing what kind of team he would like to join, he says that he has never really focused on who’s throwing the ball, and instead, he strives to be the best player he can be and wants to make an impact on the team he’s playing for.
Later in the sit-down, Robinson was asked about the odds of re-joining the Jaguars and his thoughts on Lawrence. The Penn State product says he’s not opposed to anything, that everything is on the table, and that it’d be great playing with the next NFL Prodigy of the quarterback position. He believes the Clemson standout will be an outstanding player in the NFL and mentions that he’s seeing players transcend the quarterback position based on their athleticism and the ability to make off-schedule throws.
5 free agents the Jaguars should sign
With NFL free agency for the 2021 campaign just a few short weeks away, it is time to take a look at some key free agents the Jaguars could look to target starting March 17 at 4:00 p.m. ET., the time when free agency will officially begin.
The team will enter free agency with the most cap space available at a staggering $82,022,150 in usable space. Jacksonville has made sure to rid itself of large salary cap hits over the past few years, most recently trading quarterback Nick Foles to the Chicago Bears prior to last year’s free agency.
While it shouldn’t be expected for the Jaguars to fill all of its holes in free agency, it will behoove the team to fill at least some in order to get the team over the hump from a talent perspective in Urban Meyer’s rookie year as an NFL head coach.
All signs point to Jaguars switching to 3-4 base defense
New Jaguars defensive coordinator Joe Cullen was pretty clear: The scheme he is implementing will be adaptable. The Jaguars can line up as a 4-3 defense on one snap and then give a 3-4 look on the next.
With offensive coordinators trying to create mismatches with motions and misdirection and formations, defenses can’t be rigid. Lining up with the same look in the front seven every snap just isn’t the best way to go any longer.
Read more here.
Why Alex Smith is the ideal backup for Trevor Lawrence
For the first time since Alex Smith was the top pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, the veteran quarterback is reportedly set to be a free agent and be given to chance to pick his own team and path.
Jamison Crowder could lowkey be a great signing for this team
The Jaguars may need to replenish their wide receiver corps if Keelan Cole and Chris Conley walk away in free agency. Although there are going to be plenty of options in the open market, there may be another one if the New York Jets release wide receiver Jamison Crowder.
Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports recently wrote about 25 potential big-name cap casualties and Crowder made the cut. Benjamin says that the Jets don’t really need to cut the wide receiver but then adds that they may not be inclined to keep him at his current salary. He’s set to count $11.37 million against the cap and could free up $10.37 million in cap space with a $1 million dead cap hit.
Benjamin believes Crowder is not spectacular but could fill the role of a No. 3 wide receiver — and that could make him a solid signing for this Jaguars team.
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.
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.
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.
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.