The Jacksonville Jaguars are set up to own the AFC South for the next decade.
With a franchise quarterback and talented young pieces on both sides of the ball, their future is bright. But if they have goals loftier than simply making the playoffs, more is needed.
We explore what’s next in our Jacksonville Jaguars offseason preview, breaking down the club’s free agents, cut candidates, and team needs.
Jacksonville Jaguars Offseason Preview: The Future Is Now
Even when the Jaguars were losing games early in the season, you could tell they were a team on the rise. Each of their six losses by Week 8 was by one score.
Once Trevor Lawrence got over his red-zone bugaboo, the Jags really took flight. They went on a second-half run with the NFL’s sixth-youngest roster, and that young nucleus should only get better.
This is good because the Jags probably won’t be huge spenders this offseason. After breaking the bank last offseason, their cap situation has gone from surplus to deficit.
So if they’re going to improve their Achilles heel — their pass defense — Doug Pederson and Trent Baalke will probably need to do so largely through the draft.
They have nine draft picks, but for just the second time since 2007, they aren’t picking in the Top 10.
Jaguars’ 2023 Salary Cap Space
According to Spotrac, the Jaguars, as of early January, are over the 2023 salary cap by $18.1 million, giving them the third-worst situation in the NFL.
That figure includes $1.4 million in dead cap and $1.6 million in rollover space. It is based on an estimated $225 million NFL salary cap in 2023.
The exact cap figure will not be known until the NFL announces it in early March.
Jaguars Free Agents 2023
The following Jacksonville Jaguars players are set to hit free agency. Restricted free agents are noted with the abbreviation RFA and exclusive rights free agents by ERFA.
- TE Dan Arnold
- QB C.J. Beathard
- TE Evan Engram
- DE Adam Gotsis
- OT Blake Hance (ERFA)
- RB JaMycal Hasty (RFA)
- CB Tre Herndon
- WR Marvin Jones
- DE Arden Key
- TE Chris Manhertz
- OT Brandon Murphy
- K Riley Patterson (ERFA)
- DT Corey Peters
- DE Dawuane Smoot
- RT Jawaan Taylor
- S Andrew Wingard
Defensive End Dawuane Smoot
Spotrac’s calculated market value: Two years, $27.6 million ($13.8 million AAV)
Overview: These estimated contract figures were calculated before Smoot suffered a torn Achilles in Week 16. The recovery time for that injury is up to a year, so it’s just brutal timing for a player set to hit the open market. While Smoot’s usage in 2022 was the lowest since the third year of his career, he still was good for his usual five-plus sacks and dozen-plus quarterback hits.
Tight End Evan Engram
Spotrac’s calculated market value: Two years, $15.1 million ($7.6 million AAV)
Overview: Engram quietly had a very solid season on his one-year deal with Jacksonville. His catch rate and yards per target were way up over 2021. Engram should be able to parlay that success into a better financial situation, particularly since there’s a scarcity of really good tight ends.
Potential Cut Candidates
- CB Shaquill Griffin ($13.5 million in cap savings)
- DT Roy Robertson-Harris ($7.8 million)
- S Rayshawn Jenkins ($6.3 million)
Jaguars’ Team Needs Heading Into 2023 Offseason
- Wide Receiver