As opposed to this past year when the Jaguars extended numerous free agent offers and signed many early in the offseason, their next shopping period won’t be as frenzied.
The Jags won’t have as much money as they did last year and a slight on-field improvement doesn’t leave as many holes to fill, GM Dave Caldwell told the Florida Times-Union’s Ryan O’Halloran.
“I think it’s going to be tough,” Caldwell told O’Halloran on the upcoming market. “But for us, we can really start to narrow down our needs. In the past, we were just trying to get guys come in and plug holes. Now, we can focus on what our 4-5 areas of needs are and be aggressive instead of saying, ‘Shoot, we have 16 or 18 needs so let’s see who we can get.”
Caldwell said Jacksonville will have “one to two” targets on Day 1 of free agency, which is March 15.
As of now, the Jags possess $43.14MM of cap space, which is fourth in the league behind the Raiders, Bears and Buccaneers. O’Halloran expects the team to release Chris Clemons and Toby Gerhart, clearing up an additional $7.5MM.
Here are some more notes from the Southern franchises.
- The Jaguars will likely offer Chad Henne a contract paying him around the $3.5MM-per-year deal he’s finishing Sunday, O’Halloran notes. In a piece detailing the team’s roster going into 2016, O’Halloran expects Marcedes Lewis to remain with the Jaguars. This runs counter to the logic that dictated the longtime tight end would be jettisoned after Julius Thomas‘ lucrative accord, but a thin tight end class and the 10th-year player accepting his backup role, in O’Halloran’s view, looks to keep him in Jacksonville. Lewis, though, will be a free agent entering his age-32 season off of a campaign that’s thus far included just 15 receptions for 181 yards and no scores.
- Stefen Wisniewski‘s status in Jacksonville is uncertain after the fifth-year center signed a one-year pact late during last year’s free agency. The former Raiders snapper said he’s “open to anything” in terms of a return to the Jaguars, Vito Stellino of the Times-Union reports. Wisniewski rates as Pro Football Focus’ No. 18 center.
- Jacksonville wouldn’t be smart to allocate any resources to adding wideout help, either in free agency or the draft, Hays Carlyon of the Times-Union writes. Both Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns under contract for two more seasons on incredibly affordable deals, and backups Rashad Greene and Marqise Lee remain projects.