According to a report from Tony Pauline of the Draft Analysts Podcast, the Jacksonville Jaguars are a team that is interested in signing soon to be free agent tight end Jesse James of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Let's take a look at what Pauline had to say:
"If there's one tight end who gets a big contract that turns heads, it's likely to be Jesse James of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I'm told the team would like to resign James, but he presently sits behind Vance McDonald on the Steelers' depth chart. Staying with Pittsburgh is not a career move that James would want. Presently I'm told the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Buffalo Bills are two teams very interested in James once he hits the open market."
It should come as no surprise that the Jaguars are looking to upgrade their tight end position. The team elected not to pick Austin Seferian-Jenkins' contract option for 2019, which leaves the Jags with only James O'Shaughnessy, Ben Koyack, and Pharoah McKever as tight ends under contract for the 2019 season. The front office has some work to do in making the tight end group more competitive.
The Jaguars also have quite a bit of work to do when it comes to massaging their salary cap number. The team is currently about $1 million over the cap, but with some of the expected roster cuts that I outlined in a recent article, the Jaguars should have more than enough ammo to add an offensive weapon or two in free agency.
But would Jesse James be a strong fit in Jacksonville?
My answer to that question is a resounding yes.
Jesse James is perhaps best known for his controversial touchdown that was ruled a fumble after an official review -- a play that ultimately ended up costing the Steelers a victory over the Patriots. James is an excellent blocking tight end but has also been effective when asked to be a receiving threat. He's caught 69% of his career targets. At only 24 years old James should be entering the prime of his career, with his best football ahead of him. A chance at an expanded role in an offense could serve James well. Standing 6'7'' tall and weighing in at over 260 lbs. he's an imposing physical specimen.
At this point, it's unclear how much James will cost the Jaguars if they do decide to pursue the young tight end. I would guess he'll earn a contract with an average annual salary between $5-7 million. If the Jaguars project James to be a quality starter that can bring versatility to the position, they'd be wise to shell out the cash to land this ascending tight end talent.
Would you like to see Jesse James in Black and Teal next season? Let us know in the comments below.