2018 Fantasy Football Free Agency Preview : Jacksonville Jaguars

Free agency has a major impact on fantasy football. We’re a long way from the 2018 league year, but for dynasty team owners — especially those who’ve missed the playoffs — it’s never too early to start thinking about how player values could change.

I’m going to take a look at the Jacksonville Jaguars fantasy-relevant free agents. I will also look at some players who may not be long for the team. After a look at the free agents and possible cut candidates, I’ll circle back and do some more player or position-specific analysis.

Free Agents information and cap numbers are courtesy of OverTheCap.

As it stands, the Jaguars currently has $17,591,446 in projected cap space heading into the new year, assuming a team salary cap figure of $178 million.

FREE AGENTS

PLAYER POSITION TYPE 2017 SALARY
Chad Henne QB UFA $3,500,000
Marqise Lee WR UFA $1,293,506
Allen Robinson WR UFA $877,718
Corey Grant RB RFA $526,667
Ben Koyack TE ERFA $495,000
Tyler Gaffney WR RFA $465,000
Shane Wynn WR ERFA $450,000

CUT CANDIDATES

PLAYER POSITION DEAD MONEY CAP SAVING
Blake Bortles QB $0 $19,053,000
Allen Hurns WR $0 $7,000,000
Marcedes Lewis TE $250,000 $3,500,000

Despite the Jaguars advancing to the AFC Championship game, one cannot seriously claim that Blake Bortles is the reason for this team’s success. More often than not over the last four years, he’s been one of the main reasons for their disappointments. Since entering the league in 2014, he leads the NFL in interceptions thrown.

bortles int

It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Bortles remains with the team, but I’d be stunned if it was on a $19 million salary in 2018.

Allen Hurns caught 64 passes for 1031 yards and 10 touchdowns in the 2015 season and was rewarded with a four-year, $40 million contract. In the two seasons since, he has only played 21 of 32 games. These games have brought him 74 catches, 961 yards, and five TDs. That type of availability and production is not worth paying $7 million for.

The longest-tenured Jaguar, Marcedes Lewis has been with the team since 2006. His 24 receptions and 318 yards in 2017 were his most since 2013, while he has only scored more than his five touchdowns once. His salary also seems too high for such little obvious production and given his age he would need to be taking a lot less for me to keep him around.

NEEDS

QB, WR, TE

SUMMARY

The most obvious problem the Jaguars have to solve is the QB spot. Given their current cap situation and Bortles’ overall play, he is simply not worth $19 million in 2018. By cutting him, the team could open up more cap room to get involved in the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes. The issue of who would back him up is also one that the team needs to investigate.1

The WR corps has some serious young talent on it, but the senior players of the group are all heading for free agency. Allen Robinson missed most of the 2017 season with an ACL injury but is undoubtedly the most talented receiver on the squad. Between 2015 and 2016 he was the eighth-most targeted WR, had the 19th-most receptions, and the 11th-most receiving yards. I’d be stunned if the Jaguars didn’t re-sign him.

Marqise Lee, taken before Robinson in the same draft class, has shown that he can fill the void when Robinson has been absent. But as the next man up, he’s hardly blown anyone’s doors off.

lee

Given the likelihood of Robinson returning, plus the emergence of youngsters Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole, it’s unlikely Lee returns on a big money deal. But if he entertains something of a hometown discount, Robinson, Westbrook, and Lee would give the Jaguars three solid options at WR.2

If the Jaguars move on from Lewis, they will be left with only Ben Koyack3 and James O’Shaughnessy at TE. The two players combined for 19 catches in the regular season. Given Jacksonville’s desire to run the ball, I can’t imagine that they’d be wanting anything to do with Jimmy Graham. A TE who can’t/won’t run block doesn’t fit the team’s MO. If Lewis can be persuaded to take less money, he too could return.4 But if they want to add another weapon in the passing game, there is always former Florida Gator Trey Burton. He was also the Eagles highest-graded TE run blocker.

 

  1. The team seems obsessed with the idea of keeping Chad Henne around, so another short-term minimum deal could see him remain a Jaguar for another year.  (back)
  2. The Jaguars deployed in 11 personnel (three WRs) on 42 percent of their plays in 2017, the fifth fewest in the league, perhaps making this even less likely.  (back)
  3. Koyack is an Exclusive Rights Free Agent, so the Jaguars have him if they want him.  (back)
  4. He was the highest-ranked run blocking TE according to Pro Football Focus.  (back)