As training camp begins, are the Jaguars about to upgrade their secondary?
ESPN’s senior NFL reporter Jeremy Fowler reported on Thursday that Jacksonville is one of two teams to have inquired about free agent cornerback Arthur Maulet.
Maulet, a six-year veteran, spent the last two seasons in Pittsburgh. He was released by the Steelers after becoming disgruntled with his contract; Maulet was entering the final year of a two-year, $3.85m deal, and left $1.79m on the table after his departure:
Jaguars and Bears are among teams that have inquired on free agent corner Arthur Maulet, who requested and was granted his release from Pittsburgh in May. Maulet -- who had 59 tackles, two sacks and an INT last year --- is weighing options and plan to be with a team for camp.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) July 20, 2023
An undersized slot or nickel corner, Maulet has done well to carve out a productive NFL career after going undrafted out of Memphis in 2017. A hard-hitting DB for the Tigers, he recorded 90 solo tackles in just 25 collegiate games, with four interceptions.
Maulet latched on with the Saints after going undrafted and played in six games as a rookie. He spent time in New Orleans and Indianapolis in 2018 before heading to the Jets a year later. It was with Gang Green where Maulet began turning heads - and showing his versatility too, playing on the outside, in the slot, and even at safety. Maulet played in 23 games in two years in New York, starting 11. His nose for the football saw him rack up 67 tackles and a pair of interceptions, returning one for a touchdown.
Those impressive performances saw him attract the interest of the Steelers, where he played in almost every game the last two seasons. Utilized predominantly as a nickel, Maulet continued to be productive, adding another 106 tackles to his resume. He also showed off his ball skills with this opportunistic pick:
Rumors that the Jaguars have been looking to upgrade their secondary have been swirling for some time. Veteran Tre Herndon, who seemingly splits opinion amongst the fanbase, is slated to start in that role in 2023 - with only a host of rookies backing him up (Christian Braswell, Erick Hallett, Divaad Wilson). In five years with the Jags, Herndon has started 30 games, moving between the outside and the slot.
Herndon’s versatility and experience are appreciated by the coaching staff, but it seems the front office isn’t resting on their laurels when it comes to adding more depth to the roster. After agreeing on a long-term deal with tight end Evan Engram, there is more clarity on the team’s salary cap for this season - allowing them to explore opportunities to add talent before training camp gets into full flow.