Free Agency starts Wednesday, March 16th (legal tampering opens at noon on the 14th), and the Jaguars will have just under $39 million in 2022 salary-cap space (per Over The Cap). They'll undoubtedly be busy, and I have some predictions for how it'll all play out in Duval.
The Jags will not be in play for an offensive tackle upgrade
File this one under: No S***, Sherlock. But many Jaguars fans seem to believe the Jaguars are using Cam Robinson as a chess piece. Did they only place the franchise tag on Robison as a fallback plan in case they can't land a bigger fish in free agency? In theory, sure, general manager Trent Baalke and head coach Doug Pederson could be big-braining it behind the scenes and not plan on Cam Robinson taking snaps at left tackle in 2022. But that seems highly unlikely considering Trent Baalke is placing the tag on him for the second consecutive year, and just last week, Doug Pederson mentioned on 1010XL he'd like to keep Robinson. The dreamers and schemers can keep on doing their thing, but I don't think Cam Robinson is going anywhere.
The Jaguars will target Zach Ertz
A theme of this offseason for the Jaguars? I believe they'll target several players with connections to the new coaching staff. One of them — perhaps the one they'll want most — is tight end Zach Ertz. Doug Pederson and Zach Ertz enjoyed some of their best years together and hoisted a Lombardi trophy in 2017. After Ertz's resurgence in Arizona, he still appears to have plenty left in the tank. Pairing him with Dan Arnold would make for an impressive one-two punch at tight end and give Trevor Lawrence another reliable set of hands. Lord knows he could use them.
Jacksonville will target Brandon Scherff
Brandon Scherff played under Jaguars' offensive line coach Phil Rauscher in 2018 and 2019, two of Scherff's best years as a pro. He's a five-time Pro-Bowler and made first-team All-Pro in 2020. While Scherff has had some injury concerns — he's missed at least five games in three of the last four seasons — he's a perfect fit for the Jaguars' zone-rushing attack and would represent a massive upgrade at guard.
The Jaguars will sign at least one former Bucs' defender
Former Buccaneers' linebacker coach Mike Caldwell is now the top-dog on defense for the Jaguars. As a first-time defensive coordinator, Caldwell will likely look to add some familiar faces. My best guess is safety Jordan Whitehead, who is only 24 and would be an upgrade over Rayshawn Jenkins at strong safety. But cornerback Carlton Davis is another name to keep an eye on. He'll have a hot market but would immediately boost the Jaguars' ability to get off the field on third down.
The Bears will outbid the Jaguars for a former Jaguars' receiver, again
The wide receiver market is dwindling, and given the fact that the Bears will want to give Justin Fields as much ammunition as possible this offseason, they'll value DJ Chark just a little bit more than the Jaguars. Sound familiar? It should. The Bears outbid the Jaguars for wide receiver Allen Robinson in 2018 after he missed most of the previous season with an injury. Now, Trent Baalke wasn't the Jaguars' GM back in 2018, but he has proven to be a bit stingy with the bread throughout his career as a general manager. Perhaps he'll change his ways. Perhaps not.
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