Moeller: Good offseason so Far, and the Jaguars Filled Some Holes

By Jeff Moeller. Florida Sports Wire

JACKSONVILLE – Did the Jaguars do well in free agency?

Here ‘s one vote of confidence for them.

For the record, they added quarterback Mac Jones (via trade), Arik Armstead, Gabe Davis, Ezra Cleveland (resigned), Darrell Savage, D’Ernest Johnson (resigned), and Joe Slye.

When Jones was acquired from New England, that may have been a head scratcher. C.J. Bethard stepped in last year for Trevor Lawrence during his injury bouts, and he did a workmanlike job.

With Jones, the Jags have a more season started in the sense of game started in recent years over Bethard. It is just a matter of Jones’ competence, as he had plenty of trials with the Patriots that apparently didn’t work out. Jones certainly won’t be in competition for Lawrence, but he should be able to bridge any gap.

This is also a homecoming for Jones who is a Jacksonville-area native. A change of scenery should also help.

Armstead is the big prize from the lot. He brings a veteran and leadership presence and his 33 career sacks also are a plus. Arnstead should be the constant spark to the Jags’ pass rush that they have been missing, and he needs to show that $51 million price tag over 3 years is worth it.

Davis is viewed as a deep threat and gamechanger the Jags have been seeking in their receiving corps. Calvin Ridley began to emerge as a playmaker and also develop chemistry with Lawrence, and it was surprising he bolted for the bigger money and not the playoff atmosphere here. Davis and Ridley would have been an explosive combo.

Darby and Savage are viewed as upgrades to the secondary, and like Armstead, they need to prove their worth to a unit that slipped back downhill last season.

Darby should bring stability to the secondary, as he was sixth in the league in passer rating allowed and had the lowest average target separation (0.9 yards) in the league. Like Darby, Savage also is regarded as being a consistent corner, as he has nine career interceptions, with one returned for a touchdown, and has 306 tackles.

Others welcomed into the mix were kicker Joey Slye and linebacker Trevis Gipson.

Slye, who is the kicker who looks more like a linebacker, made 19 of 24 overall attempts and was 14 of 16 from the 30 to the 50. Jags’ management got a bad taste on how former kicker Brandon McManus performed down the stretch.

Gipson had an off year in Tennessee last year, after he accumulated 10 sacks over the two previous seasons with the Bears. The Jags are hoping he regains his passrush form with some new scenery.

Overall, it has been a good offseason so far, and the Jags have filled some holes. The Jags have brought aboard some solid locker room types, and the defense looks improved on the surface.

Next up is phase two with the draft, which should further solidify the broadening picture.

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