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Looking Forward to Free Agency

contributed by Tyler Brickwood

Twitter: @adventtau

 

With Jacksonville’s season beginning to come to a predictably early close, a preview of possible 2021 free agents is in order! The 2021 class is full of stars. Some of the top names are former Jaguars Yannick Ngakoue and Jalen Ramsey - players who aren't likely to 1) be welcomed back 2) or have any desire to come back. Other names are studs Dak Prescott and Ronnie Stanley, players that are likely to resign with their respective teams. With that, let’s look at the top five "reasonable" free agents that the Jaguars might look to in order to help *insert young promising Quarterback*.


1. Justin Simmons


While a reunion with Jalen Ramsey probably doesn’t appeal to many Jaguars fans, Broncos safety Justin Simmons might be an interesting under the radar option in order to help stabilize the Jaguars woeful defense. At just 27 years old Simmons has been an above average starter for Denver, who probably won’t take a massive financial commitment for the Jaguars to bring in.


Simmons had 4 INTs last season, a career high.

2. Hunter Henry


2020 saw the signing of Tyler Eifert. To me, this was the Jaguars lackluster attempt to address what has been a position of need ever since the decline of Marcedes Lewis. James O’Shaughnessy has been solid for the Jaguars, but his ceiling has probably already been realized in a Jaguars jersey. Chargers tight end Hunter Henry brings the juice to what could be a serious boon to any young quarterback. Henry has the potential to be a top 5 player at the TE position, and top 5 players aren’t something Jacksonville typically brings to the table, especially on offense.


3. Joe Thuney


While the Jaguars offensive line has been better than expected, we have only made the jump from basement to ground floor. Luckily for us, this year’s free agent class is chock full of elite talent in the trenches. The option the Jaguars should look to is Patriots offensive guard Joe Thuney, another player that likely won’t fetch the absolute top dollar but can bring stability and depth to the interior of the Jacksonville offensive line.



He protected Brady, what says he can't protect the Jaguars QB?


4. Lovonte David/Shaquil Barrett


It’s no secret that the Jaguars defense has been absolutely woeful in 2020. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a pair of free agents in linebackers Lavonte David and Shaquil Barrett. Now the Jaguars have some stability in the linebacking corps with Myles Jack but any help they can get would be beneficial. So why not to invest capital in the NFL’s 2019 sack leader? Shaq Barrett is likely to cost a pretty penny, but for the amount of pressure he provides to a defensive unit, it can mask many of the deficits in the other positional groups.


5. Shaquill Griffin


For the fifth option we are going to have to dig a little bit deeper. With the Jaguars pitiful defense, pretty much any viable starter is an upgrade. Shaquill Griffin, current cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks, would be a plug-and-play starter in Jacksonville. While he's more famous for his emotional start to life with his brother, he has been a solid starter in Seattle for the entirety of his career. While his name isn't going to fill any marquees or sell any tickets, he can help to solidify a deplorable secondary. Being paired with promising rookie C.J. Henderson would certain help dig the defense out of the gutter.

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