Unmissable targets, need items and urgency to spend

JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – NFL free agency begins this week. Teams can begin trading during the legal tampering period Monday and announce league new year signings Wednesday at 4 p.m. News4JAX’s sports staff take a look at what the Jaguars need to do to address some of their concerns this week.

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In your perfect scenario, who is your go-to free agent signing for the Jaguars?

Justin Barney: Receiver Allen Robinson. Jacksonville needs immense help at Wideout and Robinson is the best free agent out there. They’ll have to pay too much to bring Robinson back to Jacksonville (the Jaguars took him in the second round in 2014), but it’s imperative that they do. Nothing against Marvin Jones Jr., a free agent who signed last year, but the upcoming free agent receiver cut is similar to Jones. He’s a solid No. 2, but the Jaguars lack a true No. 1. Even re-signing DJ Chark and drafting a second-round receiver wouldn’t give Jacksonville a true No. 1 wide receiver for Trevor Lawrence.

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Cabbage pepper: There is no essential player for the Jaguars. Players who could have filled that void were tagged or re-signed. It makes no sense to tag Cam Robinson and then try to sign Terron Armstead. JC Jackson is a good corner, but it’s not badly needed for the Jaguars. Chandler Jones is at the end of his career, but he could help the pass rush. Brandon Scherff would be a good signing, but he’s a keeper. It’s not to be missed. Allen Robinson would be an upgrade, but he’s no Davante Adams. Neither did Christian Kirk.

Jamal Saint-Cyr: When you say “not to be missed”, I take it in two ways; the player they can’t afford to miss and the player who will be 100% impactful for the Jaguars. The two interpretations have different answers for me. The player the Jaguars can’t afford to miss is Allen Robinson.

The Jaguars need to build around Trevor Lawrence and Robinson is the best receiver out there. While I think he’s a player they can’t afford to miss because of the situation, I could see a scenario where he won’t have an impact for the Jaguars. On the other hand, the player that I think would be a must-have signing in terms of impact is Chandler Jones. Jones is an impact thrower and even if he slows down in the later stages of his career, his presence alone will allow Josh Allen to excel.

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Which position(s) need the most help this week?

J.B.: Did you watch a game last year? Recipient. Recipient. Recipient. Then interior offensive line. Lawrence needs help and that would fill two of those gaps. Jacksonville needs help and needs to fortify the line. Cam Robinson returns to left tackle and the competition on the right side between Walker Little and Jawaan Taylor makes sense. If Andrew Norwell doesn’t return, it leaves a major hole in left guard. Strengthen that guard position (or re-sign Norwell and add a player like Brandon Scherff) by getting help from the guard in free agency.

PC: The Jaguars need to improve the wide receiver and offensive line, but as we mentioned above, there is no wide receiver available. The interior offensive line could definitely benefit from a facelift, but you usually do it in the draft rather than in free agency.

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JS: The Jaguars need help through the roster. But by far the biggest question mark in my mind is the wide receiver. The Jaguars have some solid players on the roster, but they need a No. 1. DJ Chark is the closest thing the Jaguars have had to this guy in the past few years and he’s a free agent. So the Jaguars will have a big task ahead of either retaining him or finding a new alpha for this play. The receiver market has dried up considerably, so they won’t exactly have many options to choose from.

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Will the Jaguars be big spenders this week?

J.B.: After last year’s blasé class and general manager Trent Baalke’s constant use of the word “value,” I don’t much believe the Jaguars will land a big player like Robinson. I think we’ll see even more valuable signings from Jacksonville. I don’t much believe the franchise will land a true No. 1 receiver, instead preferring another No. 2 type, a la Christian Kirk or Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

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PC: This will be the first test to see the influence of Doug Pederson on the decision-making process. Last year, Trent Baalke talked about value. It was the key word in free agency and the draft. I’m not saying it’s time to throw out the value component, but the Jaguars are going to have to pay too much for a player to come here. If the money is the same, veterans will generally go where they think they have a chance to fight for a championship in the next few years. It’s hard to make that case here in Jacksonville. I know it sounds like I’m being bearish on the Jaguars’ free agency chances, but until they can provide something a player can believe in, they’re not getting the big dogs.

JS: The Jaguars will be big spenders this week but I’m not sure they’ll go for very many home runs. We saw what frugal spending the team got last offseason. I expect them to take a different approach this year, but be much more willing to offer big deals. It remains to be seen how many big fish can they catch. While money talks, so does organizational reputation, and the Jaguars don’t exactly come with very many commendations.

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What’s the worst-case scenario for the Jaguars this week?

JB: They lack help at the receiver and the offensive line. They settle for more second and third type options at the receiver. They continue to follow the Baalke method of signatures of value.

PC: Worst case scenario? Urban Meyer is rehired. Other than that, it’s the Jaguars swinging and missing and only finding “solid contributors” in free agency. I can see what is happening. I hope I’m wrong.

JS: This misses all the big fish. Fans don’t want to hear “value” this year, the expectation should be the splash. In each of the past 6 years, the biggest spender in free agency has increased their total wins by at least 3 wins. The Jaguars have the money to spend big this year and could definitely use an increase in their win total. Not using that ceiling space for another year would be a huge drain.

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