Open Rants by kkunert327




Team Off Season Plans: Jacksonville Jaguars
Published at 2/23/2017
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Millen  Bill


Continuing on with my off season plans for teams across the league is the owners of the 4th overall pick the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Not going to lie this may be one of the more difficult teams to judge since I am not as plugged in on them and they are in a transition with a new coaching staff.  I will do my best and if any Jags fan gets mad at me please be reasonable about my lack of opportunity to watch your bad team. 

Jacksonville Jaguars Salary Cap Space: $73 million

Upcoming Free Agents:

1) Jonathan Cyprien S

2) Prince Amukamara CB

3) Kelvin Beachum OT (cut)

4) Jared Odrick DE (cut)

5) Patrick Omameh OG 

6) Luke Joeckel OL

----  The Jags have a lot of questions heading into this off season on what direction they want to take this team in terms if it's a reload or rebuild mold.  I think they should keep the current trend trying to attain good young players to keep trying with this current crop of talent. Resigning Cyprien I think should be on the top of their list of things to do with their free agents. He is a home grown product and if you saw my Cleveland edition of these team plans you know how much I value keeping home grown talent. Cyprien is a top safety in this year's free agent crop and another safety needy team will definitely jump all over him. According to Sportrac.com, he should only command a 5 year and $24 million dollar contract, which is only around $5 million a year.  With them having a decent amount of salary cap room they should definitely look to keeping him. 

      Other than that the Jags do not have any other outstanding free agents that really needs to come back.  Bringing back Amukamara would be nice, but I think he is ready to leave after being in purgatory there for a year. Some other team will give him a nice sized contract. 

Possible Off Season Moves:

- They already made a move to trade away Julius Thomas and brought in Branden Albert in two separate deals with the Dolphins so they are look ready to make some quiet moves. If Albert can stay healthy this is not a bad pick up since Luke Joeckel and Kelvin Beachum could not prove themselves at tackle for one reason or another. In the case of Thomas I wish they kept him since he is a stud tight end, but it just felt like he was skating on his big contract so I understand why they made the move.

- I can be see them being sneaky pulling a deal for a Jimmy Garoppolo with Blake Bortles playing so poorly, but to me they need to stay the path with their young quarterback.  Bortles has had one of the worst offensive lines in front of him since being drafted and needs to find a coach that can help put him in a position to better utilize his talents.

- There really is not any other options for them to trade for or cut at this moment. With a very big cap number and very few players occupying a big contract number there is no pressing needs to clear cap space. 

      Some Options:

      - Ricky Wagner OT - As mentioned above the blocking in front of Bortles has been one of the worst in the league for a few years no so bringing in new talent is needed. Wagner has developed into a very good right tackle in this league and is one of the top free agent tackles. GM David Caldwell is not shy about spending money so I can see them making a move for him. Even though Jeremy Parnell has been one of their better linemen, but he can be easily upgraded. 

      - Riley Reiff OT - A possible cheaper option compared to Wagner, but he also has experience playing left tackle so maybe he can slide back over there for the Jags. 

      - Larry Warford or T.J. Lang OG - Like I said they need o-line help and this draft has very shoddy options so taking advantage of the free agency pool is a better play. At least the guards have better talent then the tackle. I actually prefer Lang, but he is older and coming off a foot injury this past year. However, he has some winning pedigree with him coming from Green Bay. While, Warford is the younger option with a higher upside. 

        - Logan Ryan, Mo Claiborne, or Stephon Gilmore CB - If they let Amukamara walk they will need to find a competent corner to play across from Jalen Ramsey. Those three mentioned all have had varying success in the NFL and provide versatile ability. Especially, in the case for Ryan who has experience in the slot against bigger receivers. I like Claiborne for them though since he does have talent albeit he may have played hard for a big contract. If so that is right up David Caldwell's alley overpaying for players who excel during their contract year. Hopefully, Claiborne proves better than that though. 

Possible Draft Options:

First Round:

- With the 4th overall pick this team can go in a various amount of different directions. If they let Cyprien walk they can pick up either Malik Hooker or Jamal Adams to fill the void. They could look to upgrade the running back position with Leonard Fournette since neither Chris Ivory or T.J. Yeldon are all that good. If Jonathan Allen falls to them they should jump on him. As you can see this is a key juncture to how the rest of the draft could play out and the Jags could go in a multitude of different directions. They can even take Reuben Foster since their linebacking corp could use an upgrade.

Second Round:

- Take the best defender available. If a corner falls perfect, if they skipped on a safety and a good one is there take him. If a top linebacker lands there snag him. If not defense upgrading the offensive line is another option. If they fail to sign any via free agency picking up Dan Feeney or Forrest Lamp. Like in the first round the Jags have a ton of options with this pick as well. 

My Mock Selection: 

1 (4) - Solomon Thomas DE

2 (35) - Haason Reddick OLB

3 (68) - Montravius Adams DT 

- I notice it's a lot of defensive talent here, but that's because the blocking department is so bad in this draft so loading up on defense is the smarter choice. Especially, with how toothless they were in the pass rushing aspect of the defense. Taking Thomas is a great idea this his high motor and leadership abilities that can be infectious to a defense which seemed a little lethargic last season. He can become a nice young trio with Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue making a good rotation to get to the quarterback. Meanwhile, Reddick improves a mediocre linebacking corp pairing him with last year's rookie stud Myles Jack to create one of the most athletic linebacking duos in the NFL. Adams is a nice interior pass rusher who can help out last years overpaid free agent Malik Jackson a little bit on the interior of their defense. Overall, continuing to improve the defense and sprinkling in nice offensive pieces later in the draft can help this team a lot. 

Final Summary:

- I think Blake Bortles deserves at least one or two more years as a starter especially since another in state quarterback who under whelmed in Ryan Tannehill has finally looked competent with a good coach. Maybe, the same could happen to Borltes if they can create some stability around him. Upgrading the line is big need, but the draft is so bad at the position this year so delving into free agency to me is the better route and a smart way for Caldwell to spend his money since every year he likes to waste a lot of it. That way they can continue to draft the deep defensive pool in this years draft. I think the team should be a little better, but I have to wait and see how this new coaching staff looks to pass out any real judgement. The best thing they should have done was fire David Caldwell who loves handing out bad contracts and drafting for need over value best player available most of the time. Most likely I think they will be back in the top 10 of the draft and really who cares this team is basically the Kings of the NFL. 




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