The Jacksonville Jaguars have a difficult decision to make as 4-3 strong-side linebacker Daryl Smith hits unrestricted free agency this offseason. The 31-year-old only played in two games last season (the final two games) due to a groin injury, but Smith is not an injury-prone player by any means. However, his age, the Jaguars struggles, and his injury last season are a few reasons why the Jaguars are not expected to bring back Smith.
According to the Florida Times Union, the New York Giants would be a good fit for the veteran OLB, and the paper writes that another team will likely pay Smith more money than the Jaguars. Smith is the epitome of a solid linebacker, and his only inconsistent season was his injury-plagued 2012 campaign.
In my opinion, Smith is still one of the most underrated players in the game and one of the best 4-3 OLBs in the league due to his run-stopping ability and solid coverage skills. He can bring a lot to the table in terms of leadership and experience as well, and I agree that the Giants would be a very good fit for Smith.
He should be a coveted free agent for teams in need of a linebacker, and the issue for the Jaguars is whether or not they are willing to pay what it will take to keep Smith in Jacksonville. Rotoworld has written a couple of times that the Chicago Bears would be a good fit for Daryl Smith as well, and this is from both a personnel perspective and due to the Mel Tucker connection. Both the Giants and Bears could use Smith, but the Jaguars would also do well to keep Smith on the team.
If I were the New York Giants, I would cross my fingers and hope that Smith is available. And if he is, I would go after him and hope that another team- like the Bears- doesn’t bump up his asking price too far.
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