Jaguars should pursue OL, TE, WR help in free agency

If the price is right, Golden Tate could bring a needed, veteran presence to the Jaguars. Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Free agency begins on Wednesday, and the Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to make one of the biggest splashes with the addition of quarterback Nick Foles.

While that would provide a potential solution to a significant issue, there are others that must be addressed. Some will come via the draft, but the Jaguars also can get help in free agency. Offensive line, tight end and wide receiver are areas that must be addressed, and here are three players the Jaguars could pursue in free agency:

TE Maxx Williams: The Ravens drafted two tight ends last season (Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst) and Nick Boyle emerged as well, but Williams still found his way into their plans because he has improved significantly as a blocker since the Ravens drafted him 2015. There’s just not a spot for him in Baltimore any longer, but he would be a solid fit in Jacksonville. It’s a deep draft for tight ends, but the majority are better pass-catchers than blockers, with the exception of Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson (the most complete tight end in the class). The Jaguars still want to build their offense around the run game and they need a tight end that can contribute there the way Marcedes Lewis did for years for the franchise before being cut last season. The 6-foot-4, 252-pound Williams has 63 career catches, which still makes him a more experienced pass catcher than any of the tight ends on the roster (Ben Koyack has a year remaining and James O’Shaughnessy and Blake Bell are going to be free agents on Wednesday).

RT Daryl Williams: If the Jaguars are going to pursue one high-priced free agent, it should be an offensive tackle. Trent Brown, Donovan Smith, and Ja’Wuan James also are available, but Williams might be more reasonable from a financial standpoint (possibly a deal that averages around $8 million annually). He missed all but one game in 2018 with a knee injury but was one of the league’s top right tackles in 2017. He is only 26 years old, which would give the Jaguars four OL starters under age 28 (and possibly five, depending on what they do at right guard). The Jaguars might not be willing to spend a lot for Williams and instead opt to address the position in the draft (ESPN’s Todd McShay had the Jaguars taking tackle Jawaan Taylor with the seventh pick in his latest mock draft), but general manager Dave Caldwell said at the combine the Jaguars could be aggressive in free agency.

WR Golden Tate: This would be a long shot because there will be multiple teams going after Tate, who caught 74 passes last season, but the Jaguars need to give Foles -- or whichever quarterback -- more help. Tate is 31, and normally signing a wide receiver older than 30 is not a good idea, but Tate would be a fantastic addition not only because he’s very productive, but because of the presence he would bring to a young group of receivers. The Jaguars’ receivers have a combined 394 career catches, but Marqise Lee (171) is the only one with more than 100 catches and he is coming off a torn ACL. Dede Westbrook (93 catches) developed into the Jaguars' best offensive weapon last season, but the rest of the group is limited. Keelan Cole caught 80 passes in his two seasons; but he has issues with ball security, and he was benched after dropping five passes and losing two fumbles in October. The Jaguars drafted DJ Chark in the second round last season and said immediately after the pick they had a first-round grade on the former LSU player: He caught 14 passes, had trouble with his hands at times and made more of an impact as a gunner on special teams. The two remaining receivers under contract -- Rashad Greene and Jaydon Mickens -- have a combined 36 catches in 41 games. Tate might be too pricey for the Jaguars, but if they were willing to give Donte Moncrief $9.6 million guaranteed for one season last year (Moncrief caught 48 passes in 16 games), they should have no reservations about spending that much on Tate.