In case you missed it, the Jaguars fired their general manager of eight seasons, Dave Caldwell, on Sunday evening. Jacksonville is the fourth team to fire a GM this season, but I'm here to tell you that the Jaguars are the most alluring of the clubs currently without a football boss.
Why? I thought you'd never ask!
The Jaguars own the 2021 NFL Draft. They presently hold the number two overall pick, number 25, number 34, number 48, number 66, number 98, and five more selections on the final day of the draft. Jax is in position to land one of the top two quarterbacks, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, or Zach Wilson, and add an arsenal of young talent throughout the draft. They may not currently have a potential franchise quarterback, but they'll have the opportunity to land one in a few short months.
Regardless of the Jaguars' record, it's clear that there is a healthy amount of budding talent already in place. On offense, the team possesses promising pieces in James Robinson, Jawaan Taylor, DJ Chark, Laviska Shenault, and Collin Johnson, to name a few. On the defensive side of the ball, they've got Josh Allen, DaVon Hamilton, Myles Jack, CJ Henderson, and Sidney Jones, among others.
Salary Cap Situation
The Jaguars have the most favorable salary cap situation in football. They've got a few young players that they'll need to either re-sign or let walk after 2020, namely Cam Robinson and Sidney Jones. But other than those potential contracts, which will be far from earth-shattering, the Jaguars will have plenty of wiggle room with the cap in 2021. They're set to have the most cap space of any team in the NFL next year with over $86 million.
A Supportive Owner
Say what you want about Shad Khan, but as the Jaguars' owner, he's always provided top-notch support for his club. He's spent countless dollars on renovations that have made Jacksonville a better place for players, including locker room renovations and an indoor practice field. And he's never been shy about shelling out coin in free agency. Khan has also been patient with the people he hires to run the football operation.
It'd be easy to say that between Houston, Atlanta, Detroit, and Jacksonville, the Texans have the most attractive GM vacancy because they have Deshaun Watson, one of the very best young quarterbacks in football. But when you peel back the layers, the cupboard is relatively bare in Houston outside of Watson. They lack draft capital due to poor trades, they're over the cap (-$14.5M), and they don't have much young talent. The Lions and Falcons both have reasonably talented rosters, but they don't boast a QB of the future and don't have the draft assets or salary cap space to be big players in the talent acquisition sweepstakes. The Jaguars have plenty of young, inexpensive talent, the ability to land a franchise-changing QB in the draft, seemingly endless draft capital after that, and they have the most cap space in the league heading into 2021.
Did I mention there's no state income tax in Florida?
The Jaguars are indeed the most enticing vacant job for a GM candidate, but that doesn't change the fact that Shad Khan needs to land the right guy for the job, which is often easier said than done in the NFL.
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