The Jaguars and veteran linebacker Joe Schobert have agreed to a five-year deal worth $53.75 million with $22.5 million guaranteed, per Ian Rapoport.
This is the first major deal the Jaguars have inked this offseason. At 28 years old, Schobert will receive a $12 million signing bonus and a total of $22.5 guaranteed. With such a hefty signing bonus, he'll likely count little if anything against the Jaguars 2020 salary cap space. Schobert will be among the highest-paid interior linebackers in the game on a per-year basis.
The Jaguars were in need of help at middle linebacker, where Myles Jack failed to develop into an impact starter. With Schobert now in the fold, Jack will be able to move back outside on base downs, allowing him to play with more freedom and less responsibility. This move helps out Jack and the Jaguars' defense as a whole.
Schobert had a down season in 2019 but had been a pillar in the middle of the Browns' defense for several seasons. He's excellent in coverage and should bring some consistency to the linebacker group. To ensure this move pans out, and helps the Jaguars' linebackers play at a higher level, the Jaguars will need to add a run-stuffing presence at nose tackle.
The Jaguars can now cross middle linebacker off their list of needs this offseason. But there's still plenty of work to do on the defensive side of the ball alone. Dave Caldwell and company will need to address defensive tackle and cornerback in the coming days.
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