Jacksonville Jaguars should be one of the big free-agent spenders this offseason

With a new boss running the front office, the Jacksonville Jaguars could once again be big spenders this offseason.

The Jacksonville Jaguars fooled everyone this past offseason, hoodwinking poor fans into thinking they would be a relevant NFL team in 2016. A majority of the #FakeNews implying that the Jaguars would be good last year was driven by a rather impressive haul in free agency and the draft.

General manager David Caldwell knew the pressure was on last year so he opened up the wallet in a big way, luring in a home run (Malik Jackson) and striking out on another fastball (Olivier Vernon). In all, Caldwell spent a ton of money with mixed results (Chris Ivory, Tashaun Gipson, and Kelvin Beachum could still contribute but right now they are probably a net negative).

This offseason could look very similar, but now with Tom Coughlin calling the shots as the executive vice president of football operations.

Justis Mosqueda over at Bleacher Report identified the Jaguars as one of the teams who should be big spenders this offseason:

The Jacksonville Jaguars rolled over $39 million in cap space from 2016 to 2017, the second-largest amount of any team in the NFL behind the Cleveland Browns, per Spotrac. They now have nearly $65 million in cap space, the fifth-largest amount in the NFL.

That was after signing Malik Jackson, a former Denver Broncos defensive lineman, to a six-year, $85.5 million contract, the largest contract in terms of total money in the last free-agent cycle. The team also gave Kevin Beachum, a former Pittsburgh Steeler tackle, a four-year, $45 million contract, the second-largest for any tackle in the 2016 free-agency pool and a top-10 contract in free agency overall based on total money.

Yes, the Jaguars still have a ton of money left over despite their spend-thriftiness last year. As Mosqueda discusses, it wasn’t for lack of trying as the Jaguars were more than willing to make Olivier Vernon the highest paid defensive player in the NFL.

In an article with The MMQB’s Peter King, Vernon let the world know how close Jacksonville was to landing him, noting the fact that there’s no income tax in the state of Florida. That always seems to be the case with the Jaguars, though. If it’s not Vernon slipping away, it’s Ndamukong Suh or Bryan Bulaga.

I honestly don’t think the Jaguars will have that much trouble luring in free agents this offseason. They’ve shown the willingness to pay guys and the culture will be significantly different now with head coach Doug Marrone and Coughlin running the team. While many will question how far this team can go with Blake Bortles as quarterback, it always comes down to money and the Jaguars have plenty to offer.

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