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Jacksonville Jaguars 2024 impending free agents

A look at who is set to be a free agent, and whether or not the Jaguars will choose to re-sign them.

Syndication: The Tennessean Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

As the Jacksonville Jaguars are now forced to watch the playoffs from the sidelines, the team might as well start figuring out its roster.

A 9-8 finish could signify the Jags are knocking at the door of contention, but anyone who watched the team consistently knows that number lies just a bit.

Before the upcoming NFL Draft, the team will have to look at its impending free agents and decide who they want to keep and who to let walk.

Here is the list of who is set to be up for discussion this coming offseason, ordered largely by importance to the team.

Josh Allen

This one is easy. The team has to keep Josh Allen around.

After the monster year that Allen had, in a season where the team made him earn it, Allen earned it and then some.

As a former first-round pick by the franchise who notoriously does not have a good track record with first rounders– see the Others category below– re-signing Allen should be priority number one.

The nitty gritty here will be if the team opts for a franchise tag, or to pay Allen outright. The team is in their right to tag him, and Allen can either sign or not. If he doesn’t sign and hold out, then there might be some issues.

Other teams are also able to sign Allen now, with his price tag in the range of over $20 million per year.

Allen is the team’s franchise leader in single-season sacks, a mark he hit this year. There is a big risk in re-signing Allen, who has never come close to the season he had in 2023. But he may be even better in 2024.

The Jags clearly have a problem getting after the quarterback, and having Allen back likely stands to help them in the long run.

The choice should be to do right by Allen and bring him back for years to come.

Calvin Ridley

The discourse about Calvin Ridley will be an interesting one as the months go on.

Ridley did break over 1,000 receiving yards in his first year back playing football in two seasons, but drops and bad routes largely overshadowed his production.

The cost to re-sign Ridley will not only be monetary, but impact draft status for the Jags as well.

If the Jags choose to re-sign Ridley, they will not only have to pay him but have to send a second-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons.

Spotrac has Ridley garnering a $17 million dollar-a-year deal in free agency, getting paid similarly to the likes of Terry McLaurin and Mike Williams.

The team will have to decide what it has in Parker Washington and whether it values a second-rounder more than a veteran in Ridley.

Jamal Agnew

Another receiver question the team will have to face is with Jamal Agnew.

Agnew is an All-Pro at his best, and an awful offensive option at his worst. He may catch a ball for 60-plus yards. He may drop a pass in the flat or fumble a kickoff.

When Agnew got hurt late in the season, rookies Washington and Tank Bigsby filled in and filled in nicely. Christian Kirk also showed the ability to return punts when necessary, somewhat limiting the need to re-sign Agnew.

If the team is to try and save some money for guys like Allen or Ridley, Agnew’s time in Jacksonville has probably come.

The team does run the risk of letting a guy go who has two kick return touchdowns and four punt return touchdowns in his career.

Ezra Cleveland

Re-signing Ezra Cleveland should probably be high up on the Jags' list of things to do. Clearly, the team isn’t good enough along the offensive front and needs as much help as it can get. No one can say for certain what Cleveland can provide to the team, as he played most of his short tenure banged up.

He, like Agnew, has a lot of upside when he is good. As for all offensive linemen, the downside is he is liable to get your quarterback hurt.

Where he differs from Agnew though is positional value. A good, veteran guard is hard to come by. Running a rookie into that spot immediately could be a recipe for disaster. Cleveland likely gets a new deal also because the team spent draft capital to acquire him.

Tre Herndon

This is another weird slope for the Jags to navigate. Herndon has been on the Jags for six years and has found mild success. He is a fine slot corner and has been largely dependable on the injury front.

This year, in 16 games, Herndon logged 31 solo tackles, nine pass breakups, and a forced fumble. He does his job fine, but more importantly, his senior status with the team could be his best case for his re-signing.

He played this year on a $2.42 million deal. A similar price tag may not be as desirable for the team with other free agents like Gregory Junior being able to be signed for cheaper.

Doing right by your players does go a long way in the broader landscape, but it is a business at the end of the day.

Tyler Shatley

Speaking of doing right by your players, Tyler Shatley is a prime example.

Never the greatest player, Shatley still fills a solid role as a glue guy along the offensive line. A 10-year vet, he has played his entire career with the team.

At 33 years old though, the Jags likely let Shatley walk and opt for a younger and healthier body at guard. Having Cleveland around doesn’t help his case either.

He potentially could be another candidate for a contract around the $2 million range given his experience, but the team could opt to keep around someone like Cole Van Lanen for less than $1 million to be the fill-in guy.

He has been a staple for the team, but the line needs to be upgraded.

D’Ernest Johnson

Depending on how you think of Bigsby, this is an interesting one.

D’Ernest Johnson concluded his lone year with the team and made a small impact. He had just south of 300 total offensive yards in a limited role, but proved to be more dependable than Bigsby for most of the year.

With the way running backs are valued though, the team very likely lets Johnson walk to give way for more Bigsby touches. He only made about $1 million this season, so another $1 million deal wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. But if the plan is to develop Bigsby, he needs to bulk of the RB2 carries.

Others:

Dawuane Smoot, K’Lavon Chaisson, Brandon McManus, Angelo Blackson, Matt Barkley, Shaq Quarterman, Daniel Thomas, Cole Van Lanen, Blake Hance, Chris Claybrooks, Caleb Johnson, Tim Jones, Gregory Junior, Jaylon Moore, Jeremiah Ledbetter.