Jaguars Blog

Gus’ Tiers: First thoughts on AFC South free agents

todayMarch 13, 2024


Welcome to the latest edition of “Gus’ Tiers” at 1010XL/92.5 FM!

Each Wednesday, I’ll be using Tiermaker dot com to create a 100% correct ranking of a timely subject related to the Jacksonville Jaguars/NFL landscape.

For this week’s Tier, I ranked a few of the biggest recent moves (signings and trades) by AFC South teams in terms of my initial reaction to each deal.

Free agency’s tampering period began Monday and the new league year begins Wednesday.

Oh no.: Danielle Hunter

I’m a big fan of Jonathan Greenard, who signed with Minnesota rather than return to Houston like I expected. Houston promptly replaced him with former Viking Danielle Hunter, who ranked fifth in sacks last year (16.5). He has the 11th-most sacks among active players (87.5 in nine seasons). Now that he’ll be bookending the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year, Will Anderson Jr., I am officially frightened of DeMeco Ryans’ defense. 

FYI: Titans have a rumored interest in safety Justin Simmons, who would be listed here. The Jaguars seem likely to re-sign Calvin Ridley, who would also be here.

How much $?!: Darnell Savage, Dalton Schultz, Michael Pittman Jr., Lloyd Cushenberry, Kenneth Murray, Chidobe Awuzie

The Jaguars clearly saw something that others didn’t when they signed Savage to a three-year, $21.75 million deal. I wouldn’t have balked at a one-year flier on the former first-rounder, but so much contract security for someone who was benched for former Jaguar Rudy Ford in Green Bay is curious. 

Schultz is a good receiving option to have at tight end, but not so good that it defends a $36 million contract with his struggles as a run blocker. Pittman Jr. is a similar story; he’s a solid player but doesn’t have the yards-after-catch juice to justify a $70 million deal. 

Tennessee’s Ran Carthon is doing his best Trent Baalke impression by overpaying mid-level free agents to fill out his roster. Cushenberry, Murray, and Awuzie are recognizable names but unlikely to live up to their respective cap numbers. 

Nice!: Mitch Morse, Denico Autry, Azeez Al-Shaair, Zaire Franklin, Kenny Moore, Grover Stewart, Mitch Morse

Jacksonville covered up its biggest liability from last season by signing Morse, a proven veteran and locker room leader.

The Texans nabbed two underrated defenders from the Titans in Al-Shaair and Autry as the Colts retained three vital starters in Franklin, Stewart and Moore. Hats off to Chris Ballard for retaining his homegrown talent, I guess. 

Why? Mac Jones, Joe Mixon, Tony Pollard

On paper, it makes sense to acquire a former first-round quarterback for sixth-round capital. I just don’t think Jones is a very good player. Hopefully he proves me wrong playing for another team next season, which could give the Jaguars a compensatory pick.

The Texans sent a conditional seventh-round pick to the Bengals for Mixon (28 years old in July). I thought Houston should’ve paid more for a better player, but maybe he has more in his tank than I’m giving credit for. 

I like Tony Pollard, but I also like Tyjae Spears, who has a similar change-of-pace playing style. The former felt like a redudant signing by the TItans.

@ me on Twitter to tell me where I went wrong (@gus_logue )

Written by: Gus Logue

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2024 Jaguars free agency tracker

Welcome to the American football version of March Madness. The Jaguars spent minimally in free agency last offseason but they're expected to be bigger shoppers this time around. Here's a quick look at every player Jacksonville has signed or re-signed in 2024 free agency, with the most recent moves listed at the top. TE Josiah Deguara New contract: not yet announced Background: Deguara was drafted by the Packers in the […]

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