Luckily for the Jacksonville Jaguars, this up and coming free agency has a number of quality offensive lineman available to add to their already struggling offensive line.
The 2016 season was not pretty to say the least. It’s no secret that the number one free agent priority for the Jaguars this off season should be to acquire veteran help on the struggling offensive line. An improved offensive line will give Blake Bortles more time in the pocket, and also open up some room for the running game as well. A good offensive line could be just that key piece that the Jaguars need to complete their talented offense.
When Doug Marrone was promoted to head coach, many mixed feelings arose. However, one great thing about his promotion is his experience with the offensive line. Not only is Marrone an offensive minded coach, but he knows the offensive line like the back of his hand. With his expertise and experience, Marrone can adjust the offensive line to produce the best possible outcome on the field. Nobody knows the Jaguars offensive line like Marrone does. There was no better qualified candidate available to fix the offensive line other than Doug Marrone.
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Unfortunately, not all things can be fixed with a coaching change. The Jaguars are going to have to reload on quality lineman whether they like it or not. The best way to do so however, would be to acquire through free agency. With the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, the organization would be fools to burn such a top five pick on an unproven offensive lineman. Look back at 2013 for a prime example. Why take a gamble when there are already proven veterans available in free agency?
What the Jaguars need is a quality lineman who can bring both skill and leadership to the young Jaguars offensive line. Look no further than Dallas Cowboys offensive guard Ronald Leary. Leary would be an excellent pickup for the Jaguars. Leary played for many seasons on arguably the best offensive line in the NFL. He possesses just the veteran experience that the Jaguars need. With Tyron Smith (LT) and Travis Frederick (C) on already lucrative contracts, it is doubtful that the Cowboys will decide to resign Leary. Another key player, Zack Martin (RG) is entering the final year of his rookie contact. With Martin being considered one of the best offensive lineman in the NFL, the Cowboys are going to want to save every penny they can in order to offer him a huge contract to keep him in Dallas. Leary’s near equivalent backup, La’el Collins, is proving to be a solid player as well. Collins has a salary of 526K, and Dallas will most likely stick with him, rather than pay Leary’s requested eight million.
All the signs point in the right direction. Dallas will most likely part ways with Leary once free agency officially starts. Even after last seasons shopping spree, the Jaguars still have a huge cap space with plenty of money left to spend on the pieces they need. With Leary’s experience on the best offensive line in the NFL, plenty of other teams will be keeping an eye out for him as well. If the Jaguars want Leary, they will need to be prepared to outbid lineman hungry teams like the Minnesota Vikings. Dave Caldwell is not afraid to throw down big money for the right players. Wherever he goes, Ronald Leary is about to get seriously paid this off season.