By: Zach Hochrein (@Zeusthegreates3)
Here is the latest from our newest contributor Zach Hochrien as he takes a look at a couple players he thinks the Jaguars will look to sign in free agency. Seems to me the message here in Zach’s post is to follow the trend of last years signings and aim for those willing to take “prove-it” type of deals. However, on the other hand I feel the Jags may look to add a big name or two if possible (which I’ll do a post on in the future to contrast.) That, said here is a look at how Zach would run things if he were in the drivers seat, enjoy!
There is no secret the Jags need help all over the field and will look to draft at multiple important positions on the field. Those positions could likely include additions at QB, OL, RB, TE, WR, and LEO in my opinion, with high value and talent to be found in the 2014 Draft. That said, the draft won’t be the only way the Jaguars will look to fill needs as this team still will need to find a few starters, and fill some holes depth wise as well. Similar to last year, I believe personally that the Jags will look to free agency for good value and for players willing to sign “prove it” type deals. Below is a list of free agents that I feel could fit the criteria of what the Jags may look to add in free agency.
Center: Brian De La Puente (New Orleans Saints) – The key here will be can we lure him away from Drew Brees. With our cap situation, we could outbid the Saints and others like the Ravens who may be in the market for a center (I also believe both will lose out on the Alex Mack sweepstake too). A center like De La Puente would be a great addition for years to come as he’d protect the Jags future franchise QB.
Guards: Andre Gurode (Oakland Raiders) and Eben Britton (Chicago Bears) – These guards could be added as depth behind Will Rackley (If he isn’t cut) at LG and to also battle it out with Mike Brewster. Andre Gurode would add a veteran prospective to the OL meeting room. Though Britton didn’t play well in his previous stint as a Jag, I feel with our new staff he could be a serviceable backup. Both of these players would receive low end and short term contracts.
Tight Ends: Andrew Quarless (Green Bay Packers) and Clay Harbor (Jacksonville Jaguars) – Personally, I’d bring back Clay Harbor to reprise the athletic slot tight end. The Jags could retain him with another prove-it contract. Andrew Quarless on the other hand, is a potential threat I feel Green Bay may miss if he isn’t resigned. He could be used as a blocking tight end in a single or double tight end set. He could also prove to be a play-action threat on a new team with a young QB needing different types of weapons and protections. He could be signed on a one or two year contract outbidding other TE needy teams like Carolina and NE.
Wide Receiver: Kyle Williams (Kansas City Chiefs) – A veteran WR needing a home could find one with us. He too could be signed to the prove-it contract considering he’s been injury prone in the past. If healthy he could possibly serve as a number 4-5 WR, and even more so as a special teams returner.
Defensive Lineman: Johnny Jolly (Green Bay Packers), Fred Evans (Minnesota Vikings) and Pat Sims (Cincinnati Bengals) – Any (or at least some) of these heavyweights be could signed to two or three year contracts to add some beef in the middle. They could be used in a rotation with Sen’Derrick Marks, and co.
Outside Linebacker: Jason Worilds (Pittsburgh Steelers) – This is a Dave Caldwell signing all the way as he is currently he is signed to a low end deal with the Steelers. He is a player to me that might can offer something as a coverage LB not a blitzer however. I could see him being used in passing downs and battling with Reynolds and Lotulelei to eventually take the top of the depth chart.
Cornerbacks: Will Blackmon (Jaguars) and Ellis Lankster (New York Jets) – I think Will Blackmon will be back on a longer-term contract. He is a Gus guy all the way. Alongside Alan Ball, and Dwayne Gratz,they make a nice 1-2-3 trio.
Lankster on the other end, is a speedy corner that can cover the slot and he’s someone that could add some depth to the backend of the CB position for the Jaguars.
Safety: Reed Doughty- Cyprien and Evans could use some depth behind them. That said, Doughty is a career backup to put at the SS spot. Personally, I think he has the physicality to fit Gus’s schemes.
Players the I Think Jaguars Could Release or Cut
DT Jordan Miller, DT Roy Miller, TE Danny Noble, G Drew Nowak, WR Jeremy Ebert, G/C Steph Milhim, WR Taylor Price, G Will Rackley, WR Lamaar Thomas, S Chris Prosinki, LB Nate Stupar.
Players I Think the Jaguars Could Let Walk
DT Brandon Deaderick, T Sam Young, TE Allen Reisner, RB Maurice Jones-Drew, QB Chad Henne.
So what do you think? Feel free to give us your thoughts and comments. Also feel free to follow Zach on Twitter under @Zeusthegreates3 to give him your thoughts on his latest posts. And as usual we appreciate all the feedback and views .