What are the Jacksonville Jaguars going to do next? The Jaguars are determined to climb the NFL ladder even higher after a surprisingly good 2022 season in which they made the playoffs. Have they done a good enough job in NFL free agency to rebuild their roster? What are the remaining job openings? Who are they still looking for as they prepare for the 2023 regular season? Here we'll look at the 4 best NFL free agents still available to round out the roster of the Jaguars.
The Jaguars had a successful 2022 NFL season, winning the AFC South and finishing with a 9-8 record. Despite losing in the Divisional Round to the Kansas City Chiefs, they have a strong roster and are considered a playoff-caliber team. However, the Jaguars need to be cautious to avoid taking a step back. While they will retain most of their secondary, they should still look to improve their cornerback and secondary positions. They also stand to lose someone like Shaquill Griffin, who is still looking for a new team. Unfortunately, the team also lost free agent, Jawaan Taylor, who has already signed with, ironically enough, the Chiefs. This means they need to bring in an established right tackle to protect star quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Again, remember that the Jaguars proved their worth as a legit playoff team during the 2022 NFL season. They came back from a 3-7 start to finish strong with a 6-1 record. They even pulled off a historic 27-point comeback against the Los Angeles Chargers in the Wild Card round. Despite losing in the Divisional round, the Jaguars are now looking to take the next step in their development and make it to the AFC Championship.
Let's look at the best free agents still available to round out the roster of the Jaguars.
1. CB Marcus Peters
To improve their secondary, the Jaguars need to consider cost-effective options and veteran players like Marcus Peters, who could be persuaded to sign to a one-year deal. Peters has a wealth of experience, having started 103 games in his career. Yes, he missed the 2021 season due to an ACL injury, but he returned in 2022 to play 13 games. Despite not being the first-team All-Pro player he once was, Peters could still be a valuable asset to the Jaguars. That's thanks to his intelligence and versatility. He could surely be effectively utilized by the team. Of course, other teams may also be interested in Peters, so it will be important for the Jaguars to strike a deal as soon as possible.
2. DL Poona Ford
Despite his impressive record with the Seattle Seahawks, Poona Ford is still available as the second wave of free agency approaches. Over the last three seasons, Ford has recorded 83 quarterback pressures. That makes him an attractive rotational option for any team in need of a solid interior defensive lineman. Just look at Ford's impressive statistics from last season, which included 3 sacks, 14 hurries, and 22 total pressures. Although it is unclear what it would cost to sign him, Ford has been a consistent presence on Seattle's defensive line since his second season in 2019. He even started in 64 of 76 total NFL games.
3. TE Dalton Schultz
DAK PRESCOTT ➡️ DALTON SCHULTZ 🎯
(via @NFL) pic.twitter.com/neQgLCINFM
— ESPN (@espn) January 17, 2023
We consider tight end Dalton Schultz the top available tight end, particularly for his prowess in catching passes. In fact, he ranks highly among the top tight ends in the league with 135 catches (fourth), 1,385 receiving yards (sixth), and 13 receiving touchdowns (fifth) in the past two years. With Mike Gesicki already signed, Schultz is now the most sought-after tight end. Remember that last season, he was the Dallas Cowboys' second-leading receiver, behind CeeDee Lamb. Schultz, in fact, tallied 577 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 57 receptions. Adding him as a target for Trevor Lawrence would give their offense a huge boost.
4. OL Isaiah Wynn
After a standout collegiate career playing tackle and guard at the University of Georgia, Isaiah Wynn was selected in the 2018 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots as the 23rd overall pick. Despite high expectations, he struggled initially to replace the departed Nate Solder, the team’s former left tackle. In the 2022 season, Wynn played in nine games with seven starts. He started six games at right tackle and one at left tackle. He was on the field for 423 of the Patriots’ 633 offensive snaps (66.8 percent) before a foot injury ended his season. During that time, he gave up only four sacks and 17 pressures.
Do take note that Wynn signed a four-year rookie deal with the Patriots in 2019 for a total of $11.44 million, all of which was guaranteed. Despite missing a significant amount of that deal due to injuries, he received a fifth-year option for a fully guaranteed $10.41 million. As such, Wynn has earned about $21.9 million in total throughout the course of his still-young career. Right now, however, we don't expect him to fetch so much in a new deal. The Jaguars should get him on the cheap.