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Trades the Jaguars should make before Week 1

The Jacksonville Jaguars should consider making a splash trade ahead of Week 1 of the 2023 season.

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Jets Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

In a shockingly short period of time, the Jacksonville Jaguars have gone from having one of the worst depth charts in football to putting together one of the most complete rosters in the NFL today. Over the past couple of years, the front office has done a great job building the team around Trevor Lawrence as they’ve made splash moves to improve in all three phases of the game.

The 2022 offseason was highlighted by the offensive free agency signings of Christian Kirk, Evan Engram, Zay Jones, and Brandon Scherff, who all paid immediate dividends for the team. The team’s decision-makers were also able to make key additions on the defensive side of the ball with the signings of Darious Williams and Foye Oluokun.

Fast forward a few months later and Trent Baalke would make his biggest move yet with a midseason trade for Calvin Ridley, who has a chance to help take this offense reach the next level as the Jacksonville Jaguars continue their trend towards the NFL’s elite.

These aggressive moves, paired with the development of Trevor Lawrence, have made the Jaguars the clear favorites in the AFC South and a popular sleeper option to make it to Paradise, Nevada for Super Bowl LVIII.

With those expectations in mind, Jacksonville should lean into that aggressive approach by doing everything they can to ensure they’re ready for a potential championship run. They do have some cap limitations to consider but there are a number of low-cost players around the league that could benefit this team. That is why they should consider these trades ahead of Week 1.

Derek Barnett, DE

Derek Barnett is entering the final year of his current contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, and after tearing his ACL in Week 1 of 2022 (causing him to miss the entire season), he’s unlikely to be in the team’s plans beyond 2023.

It’s made even more unlikely when you consider the surplus of pass rushers Philly has at their disposal, which makes me question his role entirely with his current team.

That is why Barnett is the perfect low-risk/high-reward trade candidate for the Jaguars, who could really use more depth off the edge.

After signing a moderate two-year extension ahead of the 2022 season, Barnett is an inexpensive veteran pass rusher that could be a nice fit as a rotational piece to the Jacksonville defensive front. The former 2017 first-round pick hasn’t had the impact many thought he would at the next level, but he has still flashed ability that is worth taking a flyer on. The Jags could offer up one of their six Day 3 2024 NFL Draft picks for Barnett with hopes that he could make up for some of the production lost by the exit of both Arden Key and Dawuane Smoot.


Jacksonville Jaguars receive: Derek Barnett

Philadelphia Eagles receive: 2024 fifth-round pick

Jerry Hughes, DE

Another veteran pass rusher that could make sense as a trade option for the Jacksonville Jaguars is the Houston Texans’ Jerry Hughes. While intra-division trades aren’t something you see very often, this particular move could be a rare win-win for both teams.

On the Jags' side, Hughes would give them a productive, experienced, but most importantly, inexpensive pass rusher on an expiring contract to add to their rotation. The aging Hughes would be nothing more than a one-year rental pickup for a potential Super Bowl push along the same vein as Carlos Dunlap with the Chiefs last year, and more notably, Von Miller with the Rams back in 2021.

As for the Texans, they’re in the very beginning of a total rebuild and have made a concerted effort to go young this offseason. They traded away their top receiver (Brandin Cooks), drafted their new quarterback of the future (C.J. Stroud) with the second overall pick, and then traded up to draft the top pass rusher in the draft (Will Anderson Jr.) right after that.

The vision for the Texans is pretty clear and I’m not so sure Jerry Hughes fits with a rebuilding team looking to stockpile young talent.

If he could be had for a late-round pick, both teams could benefit from it.


Jacksonville Jaguars receive: Jerry Hughes

Houston Texans receive: 2024 sixth-round pick

Jourdan Lewis, CB

The Jaguars' cornerback group is extremely top-heavy at the moment. While Tyson Campbell and Darious Williams are a superb tandem on the boundary, the depth behind them is not what you would expect from a potential Super Bowl contender. That is why the team should think about trading for Jourdan Lewis ahead of Week 1.

A former third-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft to the Dallas Cowboys, Lewis has spent each of his six NFL seasons in the Big D, proving to be a productive player in their secondary. However, after suffering a foot injury that caused him to miss most of the 2022 season, rookie DaRon Bland filled in for Lewis at the nickel spot and was one of the best rookies in all of football, proving to be a big-time playmaker for the team.

Because of Bland’s stellar play, Lewis’ status with Dallas seems to now be in flux. If the Cowboys are willing to deal him in search of some depth at another position, the Jaguars should consider making an offer. Adding veteran competition for Tre Herndon in the slot could pay off in a big way for a team that should be doing everything possible to improve their roster before the season.


Jacksonville Jaguars receive: Jourdan Lewis

Dallas Cowboys receive: Shaquille Quarterman and a 2024 seventh-round pick

Which of these trade proposals would you want to see come to fruition ahead of Week 1? Are there any other low-key names you can think of?