Jacksonville Jaguars’ NFL free-agent signings 2022: Jags cap off impressive day with WR Zay Jones – Jacksonville Jaguars Blog

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –- NFL free agency is off and running, and we’re keeping track of every major signing, trade and release of the 2022 offseason, with analysis from our NFL Nation reporters and grades from our experts. The new league year begins March 16 at 4 pm ET, which means free-agent signings can be made official after that. The first round of the 2022 NFL draft begins April 28 on ESPN.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have the second most cap space available ($ 56 million), and general manager Trent Baalke said he’s going to be “very aggressive” in free agency. That doesn’t necessarily mean he will be going after multiple big-ticket players.

The Jaguars are in the same spot as last year (lots of money, lots of needs), when Baalke stressed he was looking for value. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him splurge on a receiver, guard or edge rusher and fill the rest of the class with second- or third-tier free agents – guys like Jamal Agnew and Rudy Ford, who became key players in 2021 .

Here’s a breakdown of every 2022 NFL free-agent signing by the Jaguars, and how each will impact the upcoming season:

Scherff plans to sign with the Jaguars, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

What it means: Solidifying the offensive line is a priority this offseason, and the five-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro fills a major hole. Scherff played right guard for the Washington Commanders, and the Jaguars may opt to play him there and move Ben Bartch, who started 11 games last season as an injury replacement for AJ Cann, to left guard. Andrew Norwell had manned that spot for the past four seasons, but the Jaguars aren’t bringing him back.

What’s the risk: Scherff is a proven elite player, so there’s virtually no risk. If there’s anything to be concerned about it’s the fact that Scherff has missed 22 games the past four seasons and hasn’t played a full season since 2016. But he’s been very good when he has been on the field, and he’s immediately the team’s best lineman.

Oluokun agreed to a three-year deal with the Jaguars.

What it means: Oluokun is a tackling machine – he led the NFL in tackles (192) in 2021 – and he will pair nicely with Myles Jack. Defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell had a lot of fun and success with Devin White in Tampa Bay, and now he gets one of the league’s better young players with a lot of upside. He’s played linebacker for only five years because he began his career at Yale as a cornerback and didn’t move to outside linebacker until his senior season.

What’s the risk: Minimal. Linebacker was a big need for the Jaguars that got overshadowed by receiver, tight end and edge rusher, but the team needed to upgrade the talent there. Oluokun is viewed around the league as a rising star and he gives the Jaguars a thumper to deal with Derrick Henry twice a year.

Fatukasi agreed to a three-year contract with the Jaguars.

What it means: The 6-foot-4, 318-pound Fatukasi will be a prominent part of a rotation at tackle that includes Malcom Brown, Jay Tufele and DaVon Hamilton. Last season, the team traded for Brown, who is now entering the final year of his contract, and Tufele and Hamilton have been up and down, so Fatukasi gives the Jaguars a cornerstone player for 2022 and beyond.

What’s the risk: The Jaguars’ interior pass rush last season was better than it was in 2020, but it seemed to show up in spurts. Fatukasi doesn’t add much there (three career sacks), but the Jaguars aren’t signing him for that. It will be interesting to see if the Jaguars move him around a bit like they did Roy Robertson-Harris in 2021.

The Jaguars and Kirk agreed to a four-year deal worth up to $ 84 million, for ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

What it means: Receiver was the Jaguars’ biggest area of ​​need, and signing at least one was a priority. Kirk is coming off career highs in receptions (77) and receiving yards (982), plus he’s only 25 years old despite being in the NFL for four years. He played mainly in the slot with the Arizona Cardinals last season, but he also can play outside. He gives QB Trevor Lawrence another reliable target opposite Marvin Jones Jr. The Jaguars led the NFL in drops last season (39, per ESPN Stats & Info). Kirk has just 11 drops in four seasons.

What’s the risk: Signing Kirk isn’t enough. Lawrence needs more playmakers, and it would be a good idea for the Jaguars to add another receiver and possibly a tight end in free agency if possible. Receiver should be a priority in the draft as well. The Jaguars’ offense managed just 31 big plays (runs of 20-plus yards and receptions of 30-plus yards) the past two seasons combined. That’s 51 behind the NFL leader Baltimore Ravens (82).

Engram agreed to a one-year, fully-guaranteed deal worth $ 9 million that could reach $ 10 million with incentives, sources told Adam Schefter and Jeremy Fowler.

What it means: The Jaguars finally have – for a year, at least – a tight end that consistently produces in the pass game. The fewest catches Engram has had in a season in his five-year career was 44 in 2019. The Jaguars have had only three tight ends catch more passes in a season in franchise history: Kyle Brady (64 in 2000), Marcedes Lewis (58 in 2010 and 52 in 2012) and Julius Thomas (46 in 2015). Engram evolved into more of a slot tight end in the latter part of his career with the New York Giants, and he’ll pair with Dan Arnold, whom the Jaguars traded for last season, as tight ends that can be moved around.

What’s the risk: The Jaguars have struggled to find any consistent production at tight end since Lewis was cut in 2018, and everything they’ve tried has backfired. That doesn’t mean Engram won’t have success, especially since tight ends have thrived under Doug Pederson. The question is where does this leave Chris Manhertz and Luke Farrell on game days. Manhertz was signed last year as a blocker, and Farrell was a sixth-round pick, and Baalke said at the combine they like Farrell. Don’t rule out a tight end in the draft, either. Seeing how the team uses the group will be something to watch early in the season.

The Jags reportedly agreed to terms with Jones on a three-year deal.

What it means: The Jaguars now have their No. 3 receiver in Jones, which should mean less opportunities for Laviska Shenault, who led the team and finished tied for second in the NFL with eight drops in 2021. Adding Jones and Kirk to go along with Marvin Jones is an upgrade from the top three receivers in 2021, and with Jamal Agnew returning from injury, the Jaguars should feel good about their top five. They’ll likely target a receiver in the draft, too.

What’s the risk: Jones’ touchdown production was low. He caught nine touchdown passes in his first two seasons (2017-18) but has just two since on 115 catches. However, for the past two seasons he’s been competing for balls with Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow, and in 202, Henry Ruggs as well. He should get more opportunities in Jacksonville.


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