The Jacksonville Jaguars first signing came before the official start of free agency, as they wisely scooped up ace run defender Red Bryant, who will bring some leadership and experience to the Jaguars locker room in addition to filling a key role as a run-stuffing DE on Gus Bradley’s defense. They also signed guard Zane Beadles today in a move that isn’t surprising, given their desperate need for a guard and the reported interest that they had in signing him. Beadles was always in line to be overpaid, and the Jaguars should be criticized for getting too desperate. Although Beadles is a quality starter in this league, the Jaguars should have waited for a cheaper guard or went after Geoff Schwartz if they wanted to pay premium.
In any case, the Jaguars have made up for overpaying Beadles by snagging two more upgrades that should be at fair value, as Yahoo! Sports’s Rand Getlin reports that the Jaguars have signed former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond and former Detroit Lions defensive end Willie Young, who will give the Jags pass rush a much-needed boost, especially with Jason Babin out the door. Adding a pass rusher was a big priority, and Young is an underrated player who certainly knows how to disrupt the rhythm of the passing game by bringing consistent, quick pressure. He isn’t great, but this looks like a nice value signing and a very nice upgrade at DE overall.
The Thurmond signing is the bigger one for the Jaguars, and Thurmond is one of the league’s more talented cornerbacks. He excelled in the slot for the Seahawks, and he’s another familiar face for Gus Bradley. It will be interesting to see where he plays next year, but there’s no doubt that the Jaguars have a top-notch group of CBs in Alan Ball, Dwayne Gratz, and now Thurmond to star with those two underrated corners.
UPDATE: Looks like we got our hopes up for nothing, as Rand Getlin clarifies that both free agents are only visiting the Jaguars.