The Jacksonville Jaguars are clearly looking to make a massive statement on the open market.
Not only is the team in hot pursuit (along with Oakland and Tampa Bay) for the top-rated impending free agent, Lions All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, but Jacksonville also has its sights set on Julius Thomas.
Photo Credit: Jaguars.com
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end is NFL.com’s No. 7 overall free agent, and four of the guys listed ahead of him (JPP, Justin Houston, Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas) just received the franchise tag.
Thomas, 26, has dealt with some ankle injuries and doesn’t bring much to the table as a blocker. However, he’s been to back-to-back Pro Bowls after hauling in 108 receptions for 1,277 yards and 24 touchdowns through 27 games (24 starts) over the past two seasons. Some argue his numbers are inflated because Peyton Manning’s been throwing him the football.
While that’s a reasonable argument, Manning also spread the ball around to prolific wide out…
Glamorous. That’s not the word that comes to mind when thinking about players along the offensive line. And it’s especially not attributed to the guys in the middle of that group, the guards and center.
While “skill-position” players get all of the headlines, and offensive tackles get the biggest contracts, interior linemen toil in relative anonymity. But in the center of the storm, they are key cogs in any offense.
In the running game, they establish control at the point of the attack. If they get blown off the ball, a back isn’t going anywhere. And in the passing game, they set up the pocket. The surest way to rattle any quarterback is to pressure him right up the middle, so he can’t step into his throws.
They’re vital pieces to any offense. They just aren’t names with which most fans are familiar. But that doesn’t mean NFL teams aren’t on the lookout for guys who can help them in the middle of the trenches.
That’s what makes cover32′s breakdown of the top 10 guards and centers avail
The Jacksonville Jaguars have lost double-digit games the last four seasons and five of the last seven. They’ve won just nine games in three seasons and have not made the playoffs since after the 2007 season.
That said, the 3-13 campaign in 2014 may at least provide some hope for the future. This team is still quite a ways from a complete turnaround, but the coach/QB tandem of Gus Bradley and Blake Bortles, coupled with some young, hustling defenders and intriguing talents like Denard Robinson mean this squad may at least finally be pointed in the right direction.
How far off are they? Luke Sims, an editor with the Black & Teal, shared his thoughts.
Zoneblitz: The Jaguars followed a 4-12 season with a 3-13 campaign in 2014. In 2013 there were signs, at times, of a positive direction – how would you assess the 2014 season?
Sims: The 2014 season was about where many of us should expect the Jaguars to be at. GM Dave Caldwell has said he expected the team to be at about where they a…
Rumors swirling around the Philadelphia Eagles attempting to trade up for Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota have started to heat up even more in recent days.
In fact, there’s a strong chance that this is going to be one of Chip Kelly’s priorities over the course of the next few weeks. It’s such as complex deal for the Eagles considering they would have to move up to No. 1 overall to guarantee themselves Mariota. If the team rolls the dice in an attempt to get Mariota, it could backfire big time.
Barring a trade up to the first overall pick, the Eagles would be taking a chance that either the Tampa Bay Buccaneers choose to select Mariota over Jameis Winston (unlikely) or move that pick to a team that would rather have Mariota—both scenarios leaving the Eagles out in the cold.
Is this a chance Kelly and company are willing to take?
The answer to this question is equally as complex as this entire situation. Philadelphia could reach out to the Tennessee Titans for the second pick. If so, that would gu
It’s no secret that the Jacksonville Jaguars are on the hunt to get some free agents to beef up the roster. With the rumor circulating that Julius Thomas is officially dropping out of the Broncos roster, the only question on his fans’ minds is where he’ll be signing on for the next season. Word on the street is that he’s deciding between the Jags and the Raiders, which is nothing but good news for the Jags.
For Thomas, there are certain factors he’ll need to consider before he joins the Jags over the Raiders. First of all, the Jags had a better team last season than the Raiders, and it shows in how the Jags finished with the better record. A better team means that Thomas won’t have to work as hard to carry the team like he might have to do if he joins the Raiders.
Julius Thomas as tight end for the Denver Broncos
The second reason Thomas should take into consideration is the talent that Blake Bortles has. He’s a strong, young quarterback, which is something that experienced offense players lik
According to Chris Wesseling of NFL.com, Broncos tight end Julius Thomas will be the top tight end in free agency and the expectations is that market will be ‘very active’ for the talented pass catcher.
The Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to make a run at Thomas, and with a surplus of cash, they could meet his asking price.
Thomas rejected a five-year, $40 million contract in 2014 and now will test the free agency waters to see if his gamble paid off.
‘Thomas will have a “very active market” for his services with Jacksonville and Oakland as potential landing spots, per Rapoport. Atlanta has also been mentioned as a likely suitor.’
I hate to be the buzzkill when it comes to NFL free agency, but Jaguars fans are going to be disappointed once the market opens March 10 at 4 p.m.I hope I am wrong, but it would seem that the “greatest free agency year” in some time is starting to thin out. The players who were released this past week got the boot so most teams could re-sign their own players or make a run at the cream of the crop of free agent talent. Unfortunately, with the exception of maybe Julius Thomas, none of them will call Jacksonville their home in 2015.Ndamukong Suh could be in Atlanta or back in Detroit. Peyton Manning will make sure Demaryius Thomas is back in Denver orange and Devin McCourty has openly said he doesn’t mind the franchise tag designation by the New England Patriots.If the Jaguars are going to make a splash in the month of March, they had better concentrate on a second tier of players who can be as effective as the mega stars – without the hype or price tag that comes along with them.The …
In a league where the rules are heavily tilted in the favor of the offense, there aren’t a lot of ways for the defense to fight back. All too often, their role in a game is to slow down the bleeding, not stop it. Dominating on that side of the ball has become more and more rare.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. In fact, we’ve seen a few examples in recent years where a very good defense was able to beat the best offense the NFL has to offer. The Giants did it in 2009 when they knocked off the previously unbeaten Patriots in the Super Bowl and the Seahawks did the same thing a year ago when they topped the greatest offense in league history in Super Bowl XLVIII.
How did they do it? By putting pressure on the quarterback.
The best passers in the league, like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, become very ordinary when they have defenders in their face and at their feet. Thus, a pass rush is the best way to stop a great offense.
How can a team generate one? Well, they can blitz, but that’s a gimmick t
The Jacksonville Jaguars have begun making roster moves to free cap space for the upcoming free agency period. ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco has announced it has parted ways with defensive back Will Blackmon after three seasons with the franchise.The move clears up $920,000 in cap space, which widens the Jaguars’ gap over the rest of the NFL. The Jaguars have approximately $66 million in cap space heading into the 2015 league year, which begins March 10.The move isn’t a surprise because of the development of 2014 fourth-round draft pick Aaron Colvin. He sat out the first 11 weeks of the 2014 season while recovering from a torn ACL he suffered during Senior Bowl practices, but played in the final six games. Colvin and 2013 seventh-round pick Demetrius McCray, who showed marked improvement last season and started 12 games, are expected to be the starting cornerbacks in 2015. Dwayne Gratz, a third-round pick in 2013, is expected to fill the nickelback role.Blackmon came to the team late i…
The Jacksonville Jaguars have been an utter embarrassment. Jacksonville has not made the playoffs since 2007 and even worse, has failed to make any real effort to get there. The Jaguars have turned off legions of fans in Florida, forcing the team to tarp off the upper deck of EverBank Field.
After going 9-39 over the past three campaigns, Jacksonville now faces a critical offseason. The Jaguars have an insane $68.2 million in cap space, almost $13 million more than any other team. Between being flush with cash and functioning in a state without income tax, Jacksonville can outbid everybody for elite talent.
Here’s the catch. You don’t want to. When free agents get big money, it almost always ends in disaster. Mike Wallace, Albert Haynesworth, Larry Brown, Jerry Porter and Dannell Ellerbe are only a few example of overspending leading to massive headaches down the line. Instead, Jacksonville should intentionally aim to be boring yet efficient in free agency.
The Jaguars gave up …
Rebuilding the Jacksonville Jaguars has been quite the task for general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley.
Entering their third year in town, the staff looks to put together a roster that can contend in the division. With emerging young receivers — Denard Robinson, Allen Hurns, Denard Robinson and Justin Blackmon — expect Cecil Shorts to hit the open market.
Bradley, who made his name on the defensive side of the ball, will look to piece together a defense that was riddled with injuries down the stretch.
Much of this team’s success rests on the shoulders of quarterback Blake Bortles. Entering his second year under center, Bortles has a nice quartet of weapons to get this offense moving between the 20s.
How they finished:
2014: 3-13 – No postseason
2013: 4-12 â€“ No postseason
Projected salary cap space as of Feb. 1 (per Spotrac.com): Most with $57.3M
Potential free agency targets: Depending who is available in the cornerback market, the Jaguars could look to make a…
It’s a tough position to evaluate. There aren’t a lot of stats to help with the cause. Styles of play can sometimes skew opinions. And the difference between a win and a loss on any given play isn’t always black and white.
But what is clear is that it’s a vital position. Whether a team is run-first or pass-happy, the ability to control the line of scrimmage is the key to any NFL offense. Thus, having a good offensive line is critical in building a team.
While finding young players in the draft is one way to bolster a team in the trenches, free agency might be a better path. For one thing, players are older and more developed, making them ready to plug into the lineup right away. Secondly, they’ve shown that they can hold up to the rigors of the NFL, something that is no small feat.
That’s why the list of the 10 best free agent o-lineman on the market in 2015 is so valuable. It’s a place where teams can instantly improve in the trenches.
Power Rankings: How all 32 teams stack up a
The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to release veteran defensive back Will Blackmon later Thursday, a move which will give them close to $1 million in additional cap space when the NFL’s free-agent signing period begins March 10.
Blackmon, 30, spent the last two seasons with the Jaguars but was placed on injured reserve Nov. 4 after fracturing a finger. He was used primarily as a fifth defensive back, a role which rookie Aaron Colvin filled after coming back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered before the Jaguars drafted him in the fourth round.
Blackmon was signed by the Jaguars toward the end of the 2013 preseason after he was cut by the Seattle Seahawks. He had 68 tackles and one interception in his 23 games with the Jaguars, and it was his touchdown on a 21-yard fumble return at Tennessee which clinched their first victory under coach Gus Bradley after an 0-8 start to the season.
Colvin is expected to join third-year pro Demetrius McCray as one of the Jaguars’ st…
Here in Indianapolis it is cold, there is snow on the ground, and the last thing anyone is going to be doing anytime soon is kicking back poolside in a bikini working on their tan. So–with that in mind and as a reminder to all the snowbound people everywhere that it will get better–here is a picture of one of Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles former better half Lindsey Duke enjoying the fine Florida weather.Looking good Lindsey. Looking good.via InstagramRead more »
With about $60 million in cap space, the Jacksonville Jaguars are likely going to be big-time players in free agency. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that multiple reports are indicating that the team will pursue Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas when free agency gets going next month.
ESPN’s Cecil Lammey indicated on Monday that the Jaguars have “strong interest” in Thomas. Meanwhile, Mike Klis of the Denver Post reported that Gus Bradley’s squad will aggressively pursue the talented young tight end.
Thomas, 26, put up 12 touchdowns on 43 receptions for the Broncos last season. Overall, it was a down year for the former fourth-round pick. He put up 65 receptions for nearly 800 yards and a dozen scores in a breakout 2013 campaign.
Seen by some as a product of Peyton Manning in Denver, it’s been well documented that Thomas is looking to cash in big time this offseason. And with the Broncos firmly focused on retaining Demaryius Thomas, it’s likely that the tight end will hit