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Jacksonville Jaguars 2019 Impending Free Agents Review

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 25, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone and place kicker Josh Lambo (4) talk at mid filed during pre game warmups against the Atlanta Falcons at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL season officially coming to an end, the Jaguars will have many decisions to make. Thus, it is time to look forward to who the Jaguars should keep on the roster, and who they should simply let walk.

Although there are not many names on this list which would qualify as notable, there are still many of which have had some playing time either due to injury or because they were starters at some point.

The Jaguars currently have around 16 contracts which are set to expire at the start of the league year on March 14th. If they decide to, they could re-sign them prior to this deadline, or let each player test free and loop back around if their market is slim sometime after that date. The Jaguars have already re-signed veteran safety Jarrod Wilson to a 3-year deal prior to his contract expiring and becoming an RFA.

Free Agents

All but one of the pending free agents for the Jaguars come via the offense. The only defender on the team slated to be a free agent is Tyler Patmon.

Of all their impending free agents, only a few are truly worthy of an extension immediately. This includes perhaps the most important free agent, Josh Lambo. For this reason, I have broken the group down into three categories: must retain, on the bubble, and let ’em walk.

Must Retain: 

K — Josh Lambo — Josh Lambo was signed during the 2017 season after the Jaguars grew tired of a struggling Jason Myers.  Luckily, that paid off and Lambo went on to nail 95% of his field goals in ’17 and 90.5% in 2018.

If I am the Jaguars, this is a no-brainer decision, and he should be paid nicely. Currently, Graham Gano is the highest paid kicker on a per-year basis at $4.25M per year. I expect the Jaguars to land Lambo somewhere between $4-5M.

Projection: 4 years $16 million 

TE — James O’Shaughnessy — The Jaguars have a decision to make with tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and if that decision goes as many expect, they will need a replacement. O’Shaughnessy is not necessarily the Jaguars starting tight end long term, or even short term for that matter, however, depth is needed and he should be able to be re-signed for cheap.

The Jaguars can address the number one tight end position in the draft or via free agency if they would like. But cleaning house on every tight end in the room is simply out of the question.

Projection: 2 years $4 million

CB — Tyler Patmon — Patmon has been a staple within the Jaguars cornerback depth for a long time now. Although he is not a starter, he is valuable as a player on defense. Patmon played 22.6% of the Jaguars defensive snaps last season and has been a versatile backup for the Jaguars the past two seasons. The Jaguars will likely want him back as he can play both outside and inside as well as some special teams. Although the defensive backs group for the Jaguars is one of the most talented, the depth is still a question mark.

Projection: 2 years $6 million

C/G — Tyler Shatley — Although Shatley may not be a starter either, the depth at the center position is completely barren. Besides Brandon Linder, the Jaguars have no other options at center as Chris Reed will become a restricted free agent.

Shatley at the very least has provided some depth at the position and while Brandon Linder is very good, he is also very injury prone. Linder has missed a total of ten games the past two seasons. Bringing back Shatley will ease the mind of the Jaguars brass as they will not feel the need to force a pick at center during the 2019 draft. If any offensive lineman is brought back to the team for next season, it needs to be Shatley.

Projection: 2 years $5 million


On the Bubble:

T — Ereck Flowers — Flowers was initially brought in by the Jaguars after being released by the Giants in week six of the regular season. Although he came in with very low expectations the tackle actually held his own reasonably well. The Jaguars could use some depth at the position with Josh Walker, and Josh Wells also slated to be free agents.

If the Jaguars can retain Flowers on a reasonable short-term low pay deal, then they likely will at the very least have a potential swing tackle to replace injury-prone Josh Wells with.

Reasonable new contract: 1 year $2 million

WR — Donte Moncrief — Moncrief is an interesting free agent for the Jaguars. Last offseason they signed him to a one-year $9M contract and he certainly did not live up to it. However, Moncrief finished the season with 48 receptions, 668 yards, and three touchdowns. Although those stats are not overly impressive, given the Jaguars Quarterback situation is it worth debating whether or not he should stay.

If the Jaguars can somehow get Moncrief to sign for much less than what he originally accepted last season then they should do it. Moncrief will at the very least provide some depth to the receiver room in which will only include Marquise Lee (torn ACL), Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole, and D.J. Chark at the moment.

The likely situation with Moncrief is he will walk in free agency and the Jaguars will address the situation in the draft.

Reasonable new contract: 2 years $10 million

T — Josh Wells — Josh Wells has served the Jaguars quite well over the past few seasons as a swing tackle, however, his level of play simply has not been acceptable. Quite frankly, the Jaguars might want to retain Wells, but they likely should not. Wells will be entering his fifth season with the Jaguars and the Jaguars may value his experience at the very least.

Reasonable new contract: 2  years $6 million

G/T — Patrick Omameh — Omameh is a familiar name to Jaguars fans as he was signed away from the team by the Giants during the 2018 offseason. Although his 2018 season with the Giants did not work out — as he was released by the team only nine weeks into the regular season — he was able to come back to Jacksonville and provide depth at both the guard and tackle positions. Omameh is not a household name, however, he would be appreciated depth if the Jaguars were to go ahead and re-sign him.

Reasonable new contract: 2 years $6 million

FB — Tommy Bohannon — The Jaguars seem to like what Bohannon brings to the table as far as punt protection as well as in the fullback role. Although the Jaguars will likely bring in some competition for him, do not be surprised if they bring Bohanon back on a 1-year deal to have some continuity in the running back room which will likely be fully revamped.

Reasonable new contract: 1 year $2 million

WR/PR — Jaydon Mickens — Mickens is set to become an exclusive rights free agent. What this means is the Jaguars hold all the cards here. Although Mickens is coming off of an unimpressive and injured season, the Jaguars might as well tender Mickens as there is very little reason not to do so. The ERFA tender will allow the Jaguars to retain Mickens for one final season as a player who will compete at wide receiver as well as punt returner.

Reasonable new contract: ERFA Tender (1 year deal)


Let ’em walk:

RB — Corey Grant — Corey Grant is probably one of the more unfortunate Jaguars free agents. Just a few months after signing a 2nd round RFA tender he, unfortunately, landed on IR with a reported lisfranc injury. Due to the nature of the injury and his inability to be an early down back, I do not see the Jaguars re-signing Grant.

Potential landing spots: Eagles, Bills, Jets

RB — T.J. Yeldon — Yeldon is going to get paid, somewhere. It just will likely not be with the Jaguars. Although he has never had a 1,000-yard season, Yeldon has proved to be a capable every-down back. Yeldon has accounted for 104 carries, 404 yards, and one touchdown last season. That does not look great as far as running back numbers go, however, his full career body of work looks better.

Over the course of four seasons, Yeldon has averaged a respectable four yards-per-carry. Some team will want to invest money into the 25-year-old running back. A change of scenery is needed for Yeldon and some team will want to pay him more money than the Jaguars would be willing to part with. Add on to this statement made by Tom Coughlin, and I believe Yeldon’s career in Jacksonville is effectively over.

Potential landing spots: Jets, Colts, Bills

RG — A.J. Cann — A.J. Cann has been the Jaguars starter at right guard for the past four seasons. Although he has had his ups and downs, I believe it is time for the Jaguars to move on. Simply put, Cann isn’t good enough to start anymore. He has been consistently beaten in the passing game and has been one of the reasons why the Jaguars have opened up so few holes on the right side of their offensive line.

Although the Jaguars will not want to pay Cann, it does not mean he won’t be paid somewhere else. He has been an ironman of sorts for the Jaguars missing only four games in his entire career. Two of those games were in 2018. Cann has shown flashes of improvement even early on this season, however, a change of scenery is needed.

Potential landing spots: Falcons, Raiders, Bills

TE — Blake Bell — Blake Bell was brought in as the Jaguars tight end depth dwindled. He was not able to really get on the field might to provide anything. The Jaguars will look to the draft or outside free agents to acquire more depth.

WR — Rashad Greene — The time has come for the Jaguars to move on from Rashad Greene. He has not been able to live up to his rookie season expectations and has not provided the Jaguars nearly enough at receiver to warrant re-signing.

T — Corey Robinson — Robinson was brought in as depth last season. The Jaguars will move on and acquire more capable depth this offseason.

T — Josh Walker — Walker was able to step in and play left tackle for the Jaguars after Cam Robinson and Josh Wells went down. Unfortunately, he allowed too many pressures to be considered as a re-sign priority.

K — Kai Forbath — Forbath will not be back with the Jaguars. He was brought in to replace an injured Josh Lambo, and although he did an admirable job in his position, the job is Lambo’s for the (hopefully) long term future.

LS — Matt Overton — Overton likely retires after this season. Although he has been able to replace Carson Tinker for the past two seasons, the Jaguars will move on.

G — Chris Reed — Reed has underperformed his entire career in Jacksonville and has routinely been beaten against the run and in pass protection. The Jaguars will finally need to move on even though Reed is a restricted free agent.

Demetrius Harvey is the lead editor for the Locked on Jaguars website covering breaking news, breakdowns, and more. You can follow him at @Demetrius82 on twitter.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars’ Doug Marrone on Najee Goode: “I thought he made some good plays in space”

Demetrius Harvey

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Oct 13, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Najee Goode (52) reacts during the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

After a struggling time at weakside linebacker against the Panthers, the Jaguars replaced rookie Quincy Williams with eight-year veteran Najee Goode against the New Orleans Saints

The Jaguars had to make a decision this week: go with the young rookie linebacker from Murray State or with a grizzled veteran free agent brought in over the summer. The decision was quite easy after a rocky game against the Carolina Panthers for Quincy Williams, and the Jaguars settled on starting eighth-year linebacker Najee Goode.

Goode went on to play for the Jaguars yesterday against the New Orleans Saints and played well. Much better than Williams had a week prior, which should be expected considering Williams is quite raw coming out of an FCS school in Murray State.

Against the Saints, Goode made key tackles in space, playing within his gaps to make plays in the run game, as well as rushing the passer. On the day, Goode was credited with six tackles (three solos), one pass defended, and a sack. Although he is not extraordinary, Goode has done enough good things on the field to pose the question: should he remain the starter at weakside linebacker?

“I thought they did some good things. I think we’ll look at the film. I’m sure there’s some things they want back, but I thought, overall, the gap control early on… one of the things we’re working on is guys staying where they were,” Marrone said on Sunday when asked about the linebacker play. “From a standpoint of where we were last week to where we were this week, that was a great improvement.”

Goode did play well, as did the rest of the linebacker group including often-criticized linebacker Myles Jack. The defense held the Saints’ offense to 104 yards on 26 carries including only 31 rushing yards by Alvin Kamara. When asked about playing with Goode on Sunday, Jack offered a ton of praise.

“I thought Najee [Goode] did really good,” Jack said. “Being a veteran, he knows ball so me and him on the field, we can talk things out. He alerts me on concepts, and I was alerting him on stuff. It was kind of like having a second middle linebacker on the field.”

The Jaguars have lacked the sort of veteran presence on the second-level due to playing Williams so early. Goode replaced Williams during the offseason and seems to be trending in the right direction to replace him for much of the rest of the season. At least until Williams is ready.

Having someone who can call out alerts on concepts is highly important and allows players like Jack and Leon Jacobs to move more freely without having to worry about making up for Williams’ mistakes.

Marrone spoke about the issue on Monday during a conference call after reviewing the film from Sunday.

“I thought he played well,” Marrone said when asked about Goode’s play from Sunday. “I think you’re always going to want some plays back, especially early on in the game. You look at the first half and we really struggled early on [on offense] and I think the first half we gave up 11 yards rushing. So, that second level, and being at the right place and making sure that we handle our gaps is important. I thought he made some good plays in space; he made some nice open-field tackles. I thought he did a very good job.”

While Goode did play well on Sunday, Marrone seemed to keep the door open for Williams to remain in the starting lineup. “So again, we’re still working with Quincy [Williams]. We’re still going to keep bringing him along and we’ll just take it week-by-week and a lot of it depends on what’s in the game plan and what we’re trying to get accomplished of who plays.”

Working with Williams is fine, however, the Jaguars must decide whether he needs more time to learn before throwing him back to the wolves. For now, Goode should be the starter, until he’s not.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs. Saints: Five observations from Sunday’s 6-13 loss

Demetrius Harvey

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Oct 13, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (right) and quarterback Nick Foles (left) look on during the third quarter against the New Orleans Saints at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars had their most brutal game offensively against the Saints yesterday and were simply outmatched at the end of the day in their 6-13 loss on Sunday.

The Jaguars will have to regroup and figure out a way to play consistently both offensively and defensively down the stretch if they want an opportunity to play in the playoffs this January. For now, they are a team with pieces to get them there but have not played like a complete unit except for their week three win against the Tennessee Titans.

Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone took the blame for Sunday’s loss during his post-game press conference.

“It starts with me. I’ve got to do a better job. I told the team [that] I like their effort, playing hard, we’ve just got to perform better, really.”

1. Gardner Minshew hadn’t played like a rookie — until Sunday

Jaguars rookie quarterback Garnder Minshew has been the talk of the town over the first six weeks of the regular season for his play since taking over for an injured Nick Foles. Before yesterday, Minshew completed 110 out of 165 of his passes for 1,279 yards, nine touchdowns, and one interception.

Yesterday, however, was simply not his day. Minshew completed only 14 of his 29 attempts for 163 yards and an interception.

After the game, Minshew placed the majority of the blame on himself, saying “Yeah it was a tough day; they are a good team. I missed some balls that I can’t miss. They played good coverage at times and got after us upfront at times. We’ll go look at the film and figure out what we need to fix.”

Much of the rookie’s issues stemmed from what the Saints did defensively. This included taking the Jaguars out of a position of strength by containing Minshew within the pocket and taking his most reliable receiver — DJ Chark Jr. — out of the game by bracketing him and placing their best cornerback, Marshon Lattimore on him.

Minshew will need to step his game up in the coming weeks, especially if the Saints laid out a blueprint on how to stop him. When Minshew did try to step up in the pocket, he was unable to get anywhere.

2. Jaguars defense played extraordinary on Sunday

The Jaguars defense was the talk of the town exiting their loss against the Carolina Panthers a week ago where they allowed 285 rushing yards — the second-most in franchise history. This week, the Jaguars were able to rebound on defense, allowing only 104 yards on the ground.

Saints’ running back Alvin Kamara gained only 31 yards on 11 attempts. Easily his worst day at the office this season on the ground. Multiple players including, Taven Bryan, Josh Allen, and D.J. Hayden were major pieces to the puzzle on Sunday.

While they did give up some yardage through the air — 240 yards on 24 completions –, the Jaguars did well in stopping the Saints. New Orleans converted only 5 out of 13 (38%) of their third-downs yesterday.

“We played good ball, but we didn’t capitalize off when we needed to,” Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye said yesterday after the game. “Our mentality is if offense puts up points, then we have to stop them. We gave them some X plays and runs that we couldn’t finish off. We played good red zone defense which made it a little hard for them to get in the end zone and score on us. This is a learning experience. We are going to come in tomorrow and watch film and work on the areas we were slow to cover.”

3. Jaguars need to find a number two receiver, and fast

Yesterday, it was clear the Jaguars had no answer for the Saints pass defense which blanketed DJ Chark Jr. for much of the day. Chark Jr. was only able to get free on a couple of designed routes towards the middle of the field.

Receiver Dede Westbrook was able to get free for a few catches (three for 53 yards on the day), however, for much of the afternoon, he was slowed considerably, forcing Minshew to check down to running back Leonard Fournette who led the team in receptions with six receptions for 43 yards.

Chris Conley — another featured receiver — was unable to get anything going after being targeted three times. Conley had zero receptions on the day and failed to create much separation.

After the game, Conley voiced his frustrations going against the Saints’ defense stating, “Yeah, that is frustrating. We knew how they were going to play the game today. We knew that DJ [Chark Jr.] was going to draw double-coverage, and we have to execute in other spots. They played a little different than what we expected. We expected them to double DJ, but we didn’t expect them to play two-man all-day basically. We have to win versus two-man [coverage].”

The Jaguars will have to learn how to maneuver around tough situations and especially cover two-man coverage moving forward. If they do not find a receiver who can win against single coverage all day, they are in for a long remainder of the season.

4. Nickel corner DJ Hayden is the Jaguars’ best defender

As a player who does not receive nearly as much praise as he deserves, Hayden is playing the most consistent football out of any player on the Jaguars’ defense. Hayden was able to make multiple plays on the ball in yesterday’s contest and executes open-field to perfection.

On one key play, Hayden stopped Kamara in the open field on a screen which almost assuredly would have been a big gain. Hayden is playing injured with a sore foot and has continuously performed well on the field. Jaguars’ defensive coordinator Todd Wash praised Hayden for his toughness just last week as he battled the foot injury, getting him in the game against Carolina.

“It was bothering him a lot last week,” Wash said. “And I think our training staff and our doctors have done a real good job of rehabbing him and getting him in position to be able to play this week.”

5. Leonard Fournette is playing his best brand of football

Fournette is playing fantastic football on the ground for the Jaguars and has consistently been one of their best players despite his poor showing against the Tennessee Titans. Finding his groove, Fournette ran hard and got tough yards with an offensive line that continues to have consistency issues.

For the year, Fournette has run 115 times for 584 yards and one touchdown. He has also added 26 receptions for 189 yards. If the Jaguars offense has any bright spot exiting week six, it is him.

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Minshew Magic fades as Jaguars offense falters in 13-6 loss to Saints

Demetrius Harvey

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Oct 13, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) scrambles with the ball against New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Shy Tuttle (99) during the first quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars struggle to get anything going in a “must-win” game at home in their 13-6 loss to New Orleans Saints. 

In what was the most disappointing performance of his short career, Jaguars’ rookie quarterback Garnder Minshew struggled mightily to get anything going in the passing game in what was likely due to how the Saints’ defense played the Jaguars receivers and the Jaguars’ signal-caller throughout the game.

Indecisiveness, happy-feet in the pocket, and inaccurate throws were all on display this week for Minshew. Minshew completed 14 out of 29 of his passes for 163 yards and an interception on the day. Zero touchdowns marked the first time all season the rookie quarterback was not able to get the ball in the endzone.

Where the passing game struggled, so did the Jaguars’ rushing attack. Jaguars’ running back Leonard Fournette only accounted for 20 carries for 72 yards (3.6 yards-per-carry) which ended his streak of 100-yard rushing performances at only two.

Receiver DJ Chark Jr. spoke about the defense he saw against the Saints today in the post-game open locker room stating, “When they covered us, they were in Cover 2 man [coverage] throughout the game. Personally, on my end, Marshon Lattimore did a very good job by covering me along with the safety which made it harder for me to run my routes on my end of the field. ”

The Jaguars will have to figure out a way to move the ball better than they did against the Saints today, and part of it comes from coaching. Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone said in his post-game press conference that the coaches have to do a better job schematically when the receivers are struggling to get any separation.

In what is a form of a role-reversal for the Jaguars, the Jaguars played extremely well defensively which has not been their calling card the past two weeks. The team has only played one complete game all season where the Jaguars’ offense and defense seemed to be in sync the entire game — against the Tennessee Titans.

GAME RECAP: 

After opting to defer to begin the game, the Jaguars’ defense was ready to contain the Saints’ offense throughout the entire game. The longest play allowed by the Jaguars’ defense was a 27-yard pass in the first quarter to Saints’ wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. For the most part, the Jaguars’ defense was able to completely shut down the Saints opening few series, and pretty much the entire game.

The Jaguars defense bagan the day by forcing the Saints to punt twice before having to settle for a field goal, which would be the team’s first points of the game. This wasn’t a game of many offensive plays as both teams struggled to move the ball with any urgency throughout the entire game.

The Jaguars’ first points of the game would come on a 22-yard Josh Lambo field goal near the end of the third quarter, tying the game 3-3 at halftime in what could only be described as a defensive struggle at that point in the contest.

Not being able to get anything going offensively, Minshew would add insult to injury by throwing an ill-adviced interception only three plays into the third quarter to Marcus Lattimore. After the game, Minshew said he and Chark, had a sort of miscommunication which led to an errant throw. Chark stopped on his route and expected the ball to be placed inside, and Minshew threw the ball outside. It was the rookie’s first interception since week one of the regular season.

Able to capitalize on the Jaguars’ mistake, the New Orleans Saints would drive down a short field to score a 21-yard Will Lutz field goal, taking the lead for the second time today. Needing to recover from the interception, Minshew would go on to conduct his best drive of the day completing three out of four of his next passes for 37 yards driving the ball deep into Saints territory. A Cameron Jordan sack stopped any thought of the Jaguars scoring a touchdown and they instead would be forced to settle for another field goal, tying the game at six, deep into the third quarter.

The Jaguars’ defense would come up big during the day as they limited Saints’ running back Alvin Kamara to only 31 rushing yards on 11 carries. A complete 180 from last week when they allowed 285 rushing yards to Christian McCaffrey and the Carolina Panthers.

The Saints’ next scoring possession would come at the start of the fourth quarter when quarterback Teddy Bridgewater would find Jared Cook over the middle of the field for a four-yard touchdown putting the Saints lead to — what seemed like — an insurmountable 13-6 lead.  The closet the Jaguars would get to the end zone would come on the drive right after. On a fourth-and-two, instead of electing to kick a field goal or punt the football at the Saints’ 40-yard line, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone went for it.

A Minshew incompletion would stop the Jaguars from getting any further, and ultimately would be the team’s last opportunity to score. The Jaguars did get the ball one more time but amounted to only four yards on a late fourth-quarter drive.

The Jaguars will have to regroup for their contest next week against the Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams are struggling currently, and if the Jaguars want to have any chance at making the playoffs this year, they will need to steal a win in Cincy.

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