JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 01: Shahid Khan, the new owner of of the Jacksonville Jaguars, watches warmups before play against the Indianapolis Colts January 1, 2012 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
New Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan plans to spend in free agency, as the Jaguars have plenty of holes to fill.
The Jacksonville Jaguars still have a plethora of cap room, despite spending millions of dollars on the defense last season. At the "Ready To Rise" rally at EverBank Field back in January, which saw nearly 7,000 Jaguars fans attend, new Jaguars owner Shahid Khan said he plans to spend to the cap. "We've got a salary cap - we're going to be up to the salary cap," Khan told reporters after the rally. "In free agency, you have to spend money. You have to spend it wisely. We're going to be spending to the cap."
The Jaguars will have close to $50 million in cap room thanks to the ability of teams to roll over unused cap room from the previous season. The Jaguars finished last season with close to $31 million in cap room. "We'll be very aggressive once we target the players," Jaguars general manager Gene Smith said at the rally. "Just like we were on the defensive side (last off-season), we'll try to upgrade the weapons on offense." After Smith spoke, Khan quipped, "Gene, Mike... please do that."
Last offseason, the Jaguars went out and signed Paul Posluszney, Clint Session, Dawan Landry, Drew Coleman, Matt Roth, and traded for safety Dwight Lowery. In turn, that "fixed" the defense by injecting talent into it. The team will look to do the same for the offensive side of the ball. There should be a plethora of wide receivers available and even a few offensive lineman, if the team feels that's an area to address. "We're going to be competitive," Khan said. "We're going to be going up to the cap, whatever is allowed. That's the wonderful thing about the NFL. You have a cap and we're going to be using it."
This offseason the Jaguars might target a player or two in free agency on the defense such as Mario Williams, but the focus will be adding wide receivers, an area the team has struggled with since the days of Jimmy Smith. "There will be some receivers on the open market who can help our situation," Gene Smith told John Oehser of Jaguars.com. "We don't know at this point which ones will be out there, but we feel like it's a position we can upgrade through pro free agency, and the college draft," he said. "We're trying to add weapons on offense and it will be a combination of pro free agency and the draft."
"You evaluate all of the players, then as players re-sign or if they do get tagged, they're no longer in play and you adjust accordingly," Smith said. A receiver like DeSean Jackson is expected to get the franchise tag, while guys like Stevie Johnson have already began contract negotiations with their current team. "You can only concern yourself with what you have control over. You have a strategy going in, but as things change, you have to be prepared to adjust."