Alas, the exciting part of every NFL offseason is finally here.
While the free agency signing period doesn’t officially start until Tuesday, March 11, the ‘legal tampering’ period where teams are allowed to engage in talks with players’ agents as early as 72 hours prior to the start of free agency, has been well underway.
Not too much has been leaked about the Jacksonville Jaguars’ plans for tackling the 45-day period where teams will be able to pursue whatever free agents they wish, however, the team has made a few news splashes of their own.
On Thursday, the team re-signed a few of their own free agents, retaining some depth up front to help the pass protection. Friday, a decision was made regarding quarterback Chad Henne and his future with the team.
Perhaps the biggest news splash out of them all came on Saturday, when news broke about the former Seattle defensive end, Red Bryant, who agreed to terms on four-year contract with the team. Bryant visited Jacksonville over the weekend and didn’t leave empty-handed after being convinced to sign with the Jaguars after talking things over with his former defensive coordinator in Seattle, Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley.
Bryant was able to visit with teams and sign a contract before the free agency period on Tuesday because he wasn’t a free agent with an expired contract. Seattle let Bryant go a few weeks ago in order to create some more cap space which most assume is a move that was made with the idea of trying to re-sign free-agent-to-be defensive end Michael Bennett.
The signing of Bryant, in my mind, has really taken a lot of pressure off the team, especially in the draft and really helped me get a better idea of which way they may go with the third overall pick. While the team may sign some more players via free agency, I’m going to take my chances with how the draft will playout.
Not taking possible trades into account, here’s my 2014 mock draft for Jacksonville Jaguars.