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The Jacksonville Jaguars had money and intended to spend it during free agency this offseason and they’re doing exactly that.
The team believes the only way it’s going to be relevant in the AFC South is making quarterback Trevor Lawrence much better in his second NFL season.
So that’s what this offseason is all about.
So far the Jaguars added Super Bowl winning coach Doug Pederson, a former NFL quarterback himself.
And on Monday they added talent on their offensive line, at wide receiver and on defense — paying a steep price to do it all.
The Jaguars in the last few minutes have agreed to a four-year deal with Christian Kirk, previously of the Arizona Cardinals. The deal is for a reported $72 million which ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported could be worth “up to” $84 million if Kirk reaches all his incentives.
That means Kirk, a slot receiver, will be in the same financial neighborhood as Mike Evans, and Tyreek Hill, while making more than Cooper Kupp or Stefon Diggs. Kirk’s annual average salary is $18 million.
Kirk’s best season came last year when he caught 77 passes for 982 yards and 5 TDs.
But $18 million per year?
Anyway, the Jaguars also agreed to terms with five-time Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff on a deal that a source said will make him among the top 5 highest paid interior linemen in the league. That means Scherff will get more than $10 million per season.
These moves on offense are clearly going to help Lawrence but another way to help the second-year quarterback is to avoid asking him to play from behind.
And that means improving the defense.
The Jaguars believe they’re doing that already, signing Folorunso “Foley” Fatukasi to a three-years deal worth $30 million with $20 million fully guaranteed, per the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
And the team also added LB Foyesade Oluokun, from the New York Jets, to a 3-year, $45 million deal.
The Jaguars were 24th in rushing yards allowed last season, yielding an average of 125.1 per game.
The Jaguars were also the worst team in the NFL last season with a 3-14 record so it makes sense they’re spending big. That expenditure so far is already at $147 million without even factoring the Scherff deal.
Free agency is all of 4 hours old so far. And the Jaguars may not be finished.
Update: The Jaguars just agreed to a one-year deal with tight end Evan Engram for a reported $9 million deal.
Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero