After a slew of low-money signings on Monday, the Jaguars hit the free-agent market hard on the second day of the legal tampering period. Jacksonville won't be able to officially sign their incoming free agents from other teams until Wednesday at 4 pm, the start of the league year.
But general manager Trent Baalke and head coach Urban Meyer did a bang-up job on Tuesday after missing out on targets like Jonnu Smith, John Johnson, and Dalvin Tomlinson on Monday.
Here's the complete list of signings from Tuesday:
CB Shaquill Griffin
3 years, $44.5 million, $29 million guaranteed (Mike Dugar)
25 years old, 6'0", 198 pounds
Griffin brings athleticism, speed, starting experience, and production to the Jaguars' secondary. An outside-only cornerback, Griffin will likely start opposite CJ Henderson. He's broken up 48 passes in his career and came away with three interceptions in 2020. He's been a bit of a high variance player throughout his career, but many of his issues came when Seattle played cover-3. He's much better in press-man, allowing a completion percentage in coverage of just 46.8 during his four seasons in the NFL. His penchant for winning in press coverage should bode well for his future returns in Jacksonville, as defensive coordinator Joe Cullen is expected to keep his cornerbacks close to the line of scrimmage. The Jaguars may have overpaid a tad, but with his projection to a press-man scheme and the support around him in the cornerback room, this signing appears to be a smart one.
CB Sidney Jones
No contract details reported
24 years old, 6'0", 181 pounds
When healthy, Sidney Jones started on the outside for the Jaguars in 2020. But due to his lengthy injury battle with his Achilles, Jones hasn't been able to stay on the field with consistency throughout his young career. Still, when on the field, Jones is a starting-caliber cornerback. He allowed a completion percentage in coverage of just 51.4 in 2020 and picked off two passes. It's unclear whether or not he'll be the primary backup on the outside behind Shaq Griffin and CJ Henderson or if he'll compete to win the starting nickel job. Jones does have some experience playing nickel dating back to his time in Philly. Either way, bringing Jones back to Duval gives the Jaguars a plethora of talented options at cornerback. Many of the Jaguars' coaches, including Darrell Bevell, Brian Schottenheimer, Sanjay Lal, and Brian Schneider, have seen Griffin up close and personal in Seattle.
DL Jihad Ward
No contract details reported
26 years old, 6'5", 290 pounds
Ward has been a rotational defensive lineman capable of lining up at multiple spots along the defensive line during his five-year career. He's been effective in that role for the last couple of years in Baltimore. The obvious connection here is defensive coordinator Joe Cullen, who was his position coach in Baltimore. Ward adds depth and experience to the Jaguars' defensive line, which is quickly becoming one of the deeper groups in football.
TE Chris Manhertz
2 years, $7.25 million, $2.25 million guaranteed (Adam Schefter)
28 years old, 6'6", 255 pounds
Manhertz will serve as an inline blocking tight end and special teamer. He's not a sexy signing, but players like Manhertz can be glue pieces for an offense. He is a quality pass and run blocker that will help keep Trevor Lawrence upright.
DL Tyson Alualu
2 years, $6 million (Tom Pelissero)
33 years old, 6'3", 304 pounds
The prodigal son returns home. Alualu developed into a consistent performer during his time in Pittsburgh and will help the Jaguars stop the run in 2021. He's strong at the point of attack and could even provide some situational pass rush help. Like many of the Jaguars' defensive line signings so far, he has some versatility, being able to line up on the nose or outside. This is a value signing that should pay dividends in Duval.
DT Malcom Brown
2 years, $11 million, $8 million guaranteed (Ian Rapoport)
27 years old, 6'2", 320 pounds
The Jaguars traded for Brown rather than letting him hit the open market, as the Saints were planning on releasing him due to their cap situation. While we don't yet know the compensation, it's safe to say it was a day three draft pick. Brown has been stout against the run for the Saints and the Patriots during his six years in the league. He's incredibly thick and powerful but shows some nimbleness at times for a man of his size. He'll occasionally shoot gaps and smother ball carriers in the backfield. He's another good value that should help the Jaguars get into favorable third-down situations. Brown played under Jaguars' assistant head coach and inside linebackers coach Charlie Strong at Texas.
WR Marvin Jones
2 years, $14.5 million, $9.2 million guaranteed (Adam Schefter)
31 years old, 6'2", 198 pounds
Last but not least, Jones is a big-time playmaker that has the versatility to win on the outside and in the slot. Being the only receiver in football to score at least nine touchdowns in each of the last two seasons, Jones isn't showing any signs of slowing down. There aren't going to be many teams with a better top three receivers than DJ Chark, Laviska Shenault, and Marvin Jones. He played under Jaguars' offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell for the last two seasons in Detriot.
As I mentioned before, Trent Baalke and Urban Meyer pulled this free-agent class together on Tuesday. They've now added a strong mix of impact players and rotational guys that should help the Jaguars be much more competitive in 2021. They still need to land a tight end that can provide some playmaking ability, but outside of that, the Jaguars' roster doesn't have too many holes. Another edge rusher, receiver, or nickel corner wouldn't hurt either. Still, heading into the draft, the Jaguars should be able to employ a positional value/best player available approach.
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