Jags Will Be Free Agent Shoppers

Aaron Kampman

With the current state of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement or lack thereof, teams now have the opportunity to as prodigal or thrifty as they'd like, with no maximum or minimum salary structure currently in place. How will the Jaguars spend their limited dollars? JagNation has the answer.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are the smallest of small market teams, and they certainly have to be weary of how they throw around their dollars as their struggles with income through ticket sales have been widely revealed. That said, the Jaguars will be looking at some free agents during this period, as they would like to infuse some talent on the defensive side of the football.

The highest profile free agent just happens to be at perhaps the greatest position of need for the Jaguars. Soon-to-be former Carolina Panther Julius Peppers is the top dog at the defensive end position. Peppers can change a game against the best offensive tackles, and he can also disappear. Would Peppers make the Jaguars better? Unequivocally. That said, the Jaguars can not compete with the resources of the Bears and Redskins, and at 30 years old Peppers doesn't fit in with the direction the Jaguars are going.

Just because Peppers is out doesn't mean the Jaguars aren't looking to bolster the defensive end position. With only five selections in this April's draft, you can throw out any restricted free agents, so we have targeted a few unrestricted guys who can help out immediately.

Kyle Vanden Bosch, Aaron Kampman and Adewole Ogunleye are three names that aren't going to have fans running to the ticket counters, but they could help the team right away. Vanden Bosch and Ogunleye are coming off disappointing seasons, and the end of their careers are much closer than the apex. That said, it's almost impossible for rookies to make an impact at the defensive end position in their first years. All three ends will contribute as an every downs pass rusher assuming they can stay healthy. More importantly, all three players should come at somewhat of a discount considering last year's injuries and lack of consistent production.

The Jaguars have an interesting situation at the safety position as last year saw an enormous regression in the game of Reggie Nelson. Aside from Nelson, the Jaguars have Gerald Alexander, Anthony Smith and Sean Considine, all three players had highlights, but none have proven themselves to be legitimate starters on a would-be solid defense. There are a few unrestricted free agent options at the position that may be attractive to the Jags.

Jermaine Phillips and Sean Jones would likely be upgrades for the Jaguars if healthy, and both can be day one starters. Phillips asking price should be down as he was placed on the Buccaneers injured reserve list after a week two broken thumb. The soon-to-be 31-year old Phillips is 6'2", 230 lbs., and is very strong in run support. Sean Jones is another possibility at strong safety as he is 6'1", 220 lbs., but a little younger as Jones just turned 29. The former second-round pick had a career year with Cleveland in 2006 as he recorded 111 tackles and five interceptions. Prior to signing with Philadelphia prior to 2009, Jones had 14 interceptions in his final three years as a Brown.

Another safety possibility is Oshiomogho Atogwe of the St. Louis Rams. There are reports running rampant that say "O.J." will get the lowest tender offer and the Jaguars would be wise to go after this talented 28-year old safety from Stanford, even if it costs them a draft pick.

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