The Jacksonville Jaguars could be the biggest spenders in the offseason, as they have a projected $82 million in cap space, the most in the NFL.
With the NFL’s tampering window open, the Jaguars kicked things off on Tuesday with the biggest signing yet, agreeing to a six-year, $90 million deal with defensive end Malik Jackson.
Jackson was one of the key pass-rushers for the Denver Broncos, helping form the fearsome line that pummelled opponents en route to the Super Bowl.
And while figures in NFL deals can be tricky, Jackson’s deal with the Jaguars is still massive. It comes with $42 million in guaranteed money and $45 million is paid in the first three years. As ProFootball Talk’s Josh Alper wrote, it’s a bit of a swing at the fences, but Jackson nicely fits the Jaguars’ defensive system, and it’s what they had to pay to get one of the best pass-rushers in his prime.
The Jaguars were only 26th in defensive DVOA last season, so if Jackson can play like the top-10 defensive lineman the Jaguars are paying him to be, they could see a huge boost on that end.
With the deal averaging $15 million per year (it’s unknown what Jackson’s cap number will be), the Jaguars still have plenty of room to work.
The Jaguars were only 5-11 last season, so they have room to improve everywhere. However, with a high draft pick, a big free agent signing, and money still to use, the Jags could be on the way up. They have a young, promising quarterback in Blake Bortles, two talented receivers in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, and now they have a potential star on defence to show off to other teams.
There are a lot of areas to improve on the roster, and it can’t all be fixed in free agency, but if Jackson lives up to his deal, with some internal improvement, the Jaguars might be a team to watch in 2016.
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