Now with Nick Foles in the fold as the Jaguars "franchise lifting" quarterback, the biggest question in Duval is "what's next"?
What will the Jaguars do to help ensure that Nick Foles finds success in 2019 and beyond? I don't have a crystal ball, and I can't tell you what the Jaguars are doing behind closed doors to surround Foles with offensive talent.
But I can tell you what the Jaguars should be doing.
Their number one priority should be signing free-agent WR Golden Tate.
Golden Tate is a 31-year-old receiver, that's still at the top of his game. He's well versed at playing all over the field and can be a factor for the Jaguars as the X, Y, and Z receiver. Since entering the league in 2010 Tate has played in Seattle, Detriot, and most recently, Philadelphia. He's been the number one receiver on multiple playoff teams, and even reached the pinnacle of the sport, winning the Super Bowl with Seahawks in 2013.
Yes, Tate has done it all, including catching passes from Nick Foles.
Tate finished the 2018 season as a member of the Eagles, so Foles and Tate played in five games together to end 2018, including two playoff contests. Tate and Foles connected immediately. During their time in the starting lineup together Foles hit Tate for 18 completions on 27 targets (66% completion rate) and found the veteran receiver for the game-winning score against the Bears in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
But it's Golden Tate's specific skill set that makes me so convinced he would be a perfect fit for Nick Foles and the Jaguars. Foles thrives on getting the ball out quickly on short, timing-based routes; shallow crosses, in-routes, out-routes, slants, and curls are the bread and butter of Foles' game. Guess who happens to be elite at getting open early in routes . . . that's right, Golden Tate. Not only does he win early, but he's also THE BEST receiver in the NFL when it comes to yards after the catch. He's among the league leaders in forced missed tackles year after year. In 2018 he forced the most missed tackles in football from the receiver position with 23.
A guy that can get open quickly, snare fastballs, and make defenders miss? That's precisely what the Nick Foles led Jaguars should be looking for.
Of course, the Jaguars won't be the only team looking to secure Tate's services. The Giants have a big hole to fill at the WR position, and it wouldn't be surprising to see some other wide receiver-needy teams sneak into the mix.
But the Jaguars should throw everything they've got at Golden Tate. Given a full offseason to grow together, Foles and Tate could be one of the most efficient QB-WR combinations in the league next season. Tate would immediately be the Jaguars most versatile and experienced weapon on offense.
It's time for Dave Caldwell and John Idzik to work their cap magic and land the playmaking wide receiver. But if the Jaguars do miss out on Tate, they won't necessarily be left high and dry. Veteran free agent slot receiver Randall Cobb has lost a step, but he could still help the Jaguars from the slot. If it's a deep threat the Jaguars are looking for; they need look no further than Tyrell Williams. The 27-year-old receiver is a big play waiting to happen. If the Jaguars want a big bodied possession receiver, they could sign Michael Crabtree.
There are a wealth of options at this stage in the game, but Tate should be the apple of the Jaguars front office's collective eye. If they could land Tate and a guard like TJ Lang, the Jaguars offense would be set up for immediate success in 2019.
Having Jalen Ramsey on the team, who dates Tate's sister and is the father of Tate's nephew, shouldn't hurt the Jaguars chances of landing the veteran wide out.
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