Happy not Monday, Duval!
In case you missed it, JJ Watt announced on Monday that he's taking his talents to Arizona. Watt signed a two-year deal with Cardinals worth a total of $31 million ($23M guaranteed). This, of course, means the Jaguars will no longer face the soon-to-be 32-year old Watt twice per season. Watt joins DeAndre Hopkins as two Texans' greats now residing in Glendale. The Jaguars will host the Cardinals in 2021.
While the news of JJ Watt leaving the AFC South should give Jaguars fans some relief, some folks may be missing the most critical point here. Watt signing with Arizona, a team that missed the playoffs in 2020 and isn't likely to magically find themselves among the NFL's elite, is a strong indicator and reminder of how free agents generally handle finding a new team — they follow the money. And who has the most money to spend? Your Jacksonville Jaguars currently have just north of $82 million in salary-cap space heading into free agency.
The legal tampering period begins in less than two weeks on March 15th. That's when we'll start to see some big names on the move. As their roster is currently constructed, the Jaguars have a bevy of needs, including quarterback, left tackle, cornerback, tight end, and safety. Look for Urban Meyer and the Jags to be big spenders. And don't forget — the deadline for teams to place the franchise tag on players is March 9th. Left tackle Cam Robinson looks like the only possible tag candidate for the Jaguars.
This little event called the NFL Draft is also on the Horizon. Kicking off in late April, the draft will take a backseat to free agency over the next few weeks, but teams are still taking the time to conduct video conferences and phone calls with prospects. According to Justin Melo, the Jaguars met with cornerback Greg Newsome II from Northwestern. Newsome has been a late riser in the draft community thanks to his movement skills and quick trigger. He's not the most elite athlete at the cornerback position, but his length, fluidity, and instincts make him an intriguing prospect. He could be a target for the cornerback needy Jaguars as early as 25 and into the second round.
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