Which Free Agents Are Left For The Jaguars Now That The Tags Have Been Given

The free agency tags have been given out and we're going to look at who are the best remaining targets for the Jaguars.

There weren't a great deal of surprises during the Franchise and Transition Tag period as the Jaguars figured that players like Von Miller and Eric Berry wouldn't hit the open market.  

That still gives the team plenty of available targets to spend their free agent dollars on.  

Malik Jackson, DE, Denver Broncos- With Von Miller getting the exclusive franchise tag, the Broncos will likely be competing with a number of teams with more cap space to retain the services of Jackson. Early reports show the Broncos wanting to spend in the neighborhood of $11 million annually for the services of the 26-year old.  The Jaguars can easily exceed that amount for the talented pass rusher and his age will make him very attractive for the team.  

Olivier Vernon, DE, Miami Dolphins- Vernon was given the transition tag by the Dolphins, which means that they can match any offer that he would agree to. The tag would pay Vernon $12.7 million in 2016, and that's where his negotiations would likely begin.  Once again, the Jaguars can set the market for the 27-year old and structure a deal that Miami couldn't match, or something that would be very difficult for them to match.  Young pass rushers might be the NFL's most rare commodity and the Jaguars can't depend on Dante Fowler, who is an unknown commodity coming of his torn ACL. 

Mario Williams, DE, Buffalo Bills- Williams was released from the Bills on Tuesday and he's been an ultra-productive 4-3 defensive end before playing out of position last season.  With the need for pass rushers, there will still likely be a pretty strong market for the 31-year old, and his final price will likely exceed $10 million per year.  Williams would be a nice piece for the Jaguars, but it's likely that Jackson and Vernon would be priorities, despite having the ability to negotiate with Williams right now where they'd have to wait until next week to go after the other two. 

George Iloka, S, Cincinnati Bengals- With Eric Berry being off the market, Iloka looks like a good target for the Jaguars to go after.  Jacksonville had the worst pair of starting safeties in the NFL with Jonathan Cyprien and Josh Evans/Sergio Brown, and 2015 rookie James Sample is far from a sure thing.  With a pretty weak safety class in the draft, they need to address the back end of their defense.  

Eric Weddle, S, San Diego Chargers- Weddle is a player that the Jaguars coveted in the past, and as he gets north of 30 years old his market won't be quite as strong.  With that said, he might not be the playmaker he was a few years ago, but Weddle would be a certain upgrade on the back end of the defense.

Tashaun Gipson, S, Cleveland Browns- Gipson has been a big play safety who would be able to immediately start in Jacksonville.  He would be a secondary target for the team and likely won't break the proverbal bank.   

Derrick Johnson, ILB, Kansas City Chiefs- Johnson is the best inside linebacker on the market, and although it isn't a major area of need for the Jaguars he would be a certain improvement to the second level of the defense over Paul Posluszny.  Johnson will receive more than $20 million in guaranteed money, but the Jaguars have plenty to spend, and a linebacker corps of him, Telvin Smith and Dan Skuta is pretty intriguing. 

Antonio Cromartie, CB, New York Jets- Cromartie is the type of long, lanky cornerback that Gus Bradley had in Seattle and he makes big plays, despite being a bit of a gambler. With the coaching staff and front office in a win-now mode, Cromartie could be that band-aid that makes sense. 


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