Wednesday, January 22, 2014
The next big thing: Jaguars
By Michael DiRocco
MOBILE, Ala. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars are in a good position to make some noise in free agency.
With more than $54 million in projected cap space for 2014, the Jaguars could go after several top-tier free agents (such as Carolina's Greg Hardy or Cleveland’s Alex Mack) or take a more conservative approach by mining the middle tier of free agents. The Jaguars have several areas of need they could address in free agency: pass-rusher, interior offensive line, running back, and outside linebacker.
Jaguars GM David Caldwell has said he wants to build through the draft, so it seems unlikely the Jaguars would be big spenders in free agency this offseason. Next offseason is more likely, especially if Caldwell’s first two draft classes are productive.
As for in-house work, the Jaguars hope to re-sign quarterback Chad Henne and running back Maurice Jones-Drew, the latter of which seems less likely.
As for the draft, it seems the Jaguars’ decision on what to do with the No. 3 overall pick comes down to this: Take one of the elite pass-rushers, which would address one of the team’s most glaring problems, or go with a quarterback.
There is no doubt that the Jaguars need to find a quarterback to build around, but Caldwell has to decide if he believes any of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft can be an immediate starter and make a difference right away. If he doesn’t, then the plan likely will be to take the pass-rusher -- Jadeveon Clowney or Anthony Barr seem most likely -- and grab a quarterback sometime in the next few rounds.