Jacksonville Jaguars Free Agency Recap
The Jacksonville Jaguars have not been a very good football team over the past few years, and last season wasn’t much of an improvement with new head coach Gus Bradley in charge. However, things look to be going in the right direction for the team after the first week of free agency, in which they’ve either signed or re-signed 13 players.
General manager David Caldwell first stirred the pot by dealing former 10th overall pick Blaine Gabbert to the 49ers for a sixth-round pick.
Caldwell then proceeded to add players to his team. Four of the 13 players that were signed are defensive linemen: Jason Babin, Chris Clemons, Red Bryant, and Ziggy Hood will all help out a defense that ranked as the fifth worst overall in 2013. The Jags defense also only got to the quarterback 31 times, which was good for worst in the league. Clemons and Bryant were both in Seattle when Bradley was the defensive coordinator, so they should be able to come in an grasp the system very easily, as should Babin, who was with the team all of last season. As for Hood; the former first round pick should be a solid piece in what will most likely be a rotation of defensive ends. He has played in every game since being drafted in 2009 and averages just over two sacks per season.
The one question mark heading into free agency was what the team was going to do about their best player, Maurice Jones-Drew. He is a free agent still, and the team made it clear that he isn’t coming back by going out and signing Adrian Peterson’s backup, Toby Gerhart, to a three-year deal worth $10.5 million.
Another question mark that the team has had for what seems like forever is the quarterback position. Sure, David Garrard and Byron Leftwich had their moments, but there hasn’t been a franchise quarterback in Jacksonville since Mark Brunell. The Jags need to make that their number one priority and address it as soon as possible. Is Chad Henne the answer? Or does the deep quarterback class of 2014 offer any solutions?
The third overall pick in the draft belongs to lowly Jacksonville, and if they make the right decision, they could take a huge step in the right direction. Most analysts and insiders expect them to take either Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater.
Trevor Newcomb is a junior majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To reach him, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or you can find him on twitter @TNewcomb92