The Jaguars had a busy opening day of free agency on Friday signing starting strong safety Barry Church, starting cornerback AJ Bouye, starting defensive lineman Calais Campbell, and special teams ace Lerentee McCray. Following the "first wave" of free agency the Jaguars still had work to do.
On Saturday they started out with Audie Cole, a special teams ace from Minnesota. Cole, originally a seventh round pick in the 2012 draft out of North Carolina State, is considered a strong special teamer and helped out the Vikings in 2016 with six special teams tackles. His presence adds to the growing skill, and depth of the Jaguars special teams unit, which now features some of the best special teamers in football.
The team also signed Earl Watford from the Cardinals. The offensive lineman has mostly played at right guard and right tackle during his tenure in Arizona, where he has started 12 games including 10 in 2016. Similarly to Calais Campbell, Watford had spent his entire career with Arizona prior to signing with Jacksonville. Originally a fourth round pick in 2013, the 26 year old Watford is considered a "swiss army knife" offensive lineman, in other words you can plug him and play him at most spots on the offensive line. Ideally Watford would be signed as quality depth, but with the Jaguars current situation at guard it seems he may be able to compete for a starting job.
They finished by signing Stefan Charles, a 28 year old defensive tackle who spent last year in Detroit. Primarily a rotational defender Charles has spent time in Detroit, Buffalo, and Tennessee after being a second round pick in the CFL in 2013. Charles is now the only Canadian born player on the Jaguars roster.
While these three moves only matter for the truly die hard fans, the Jaguars are scheduled to meet with someone on Monday that is sure to turn heads.
After spending over $6 million per year signing RB Chris Ivory just one year ago, the Jaguars are now (per Adam Schefter) scheduled to meet with another starting running back turned free agent Latavius Murray. Murray has been one of the more productive runners in football over the last couple of years and in my mind would be an immediate starter as the Jaguars roster currently stands. Over the last two seasons combined Murray has but up 1,854 yards, 18 TDs, and added 74 receptions in the passing game. He is versatile and shows a bit of shiftiness and speed in the open field, but can also lower his shoulder and fight for extra yards. At 230 lbs Murray would be the effective short yardage back the Jaguars have lacked since the departure of Maurice Jones-Drew in 2013.
The Jaguars have had an active start to free agency, stay tuned for more!
GENJAG FOR YOUR EARS
The GenJag Podcast Ep. 21
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