Announcement: Jaguars Finalizing $16.5 Million Deal To Sign Veteran Pro Bowler In free agency

Announcement: Jaguars Finalizing $16.5 Million Deal To Sign Veteran Pro Bowler In free agency

As NFL teams inch closer to training camp, the free agent market has almost dried up. Almost. There are still a few big-name potential impact veterans on the market who teams can sign to improve their team. One of those players is cornerback and 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore, who the odds say is most likely to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars as a free agent if he doesn’t return to the Dallas Cowboys.

Gilmore turns 33 in Week of the next NFL season, but he can still contribute to winning defense. Last season, the five-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro started all 17 Cowboys games, recording 68 tackles, 13 passes defensed, and two interceptions. If Gilmore doesn’t return to Dallas, the Jaguars have the greatest odds to sign him, according to Bet Online.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are +400 to sign Gilmore, while the Chicago Bears are +600, New York Giants are +700, Baltimore Ravens are +800, and Houston Texans are +900. Every other team is +1000 or higher.

Gilmore starred at South Carolina before the Buffalo Bills drafted him No. 10 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. He played five seasons in Western New York, making his first Pro Bowl in his final campaign there, before signing with the rival New England Patriots.

A relatively down season followed, but from 2018-21 he made four Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams. In 2019 Gilmore led the league with six interceptions and won DPOY over Chandler Jones and T.J. Watt.

If the Jaguars do sign Gilmore, he could be the missing piece that this team needs to take the next step.

Last season, the Jaguars’ defense ranked 17th in points and 22nd in yards allowed. Those percentages must improve considerably in order to advance from playoff challenger to actual championship contender.

Jacksonville has strong front seven, with Pro Bowler Josh Allen, 2022 No. overall pick Travon Walker, and excellent veterans such as Foyesade Oluokun, Arik Armstead, and Devin Lloyd. The defensive backfield presents slightly different situation.

The Jaguars’ current starting cornerbacks are Ronald Darby, Tyson Campbell, and Darnell Savage, with Montaric Brown and youngsters De’Antre Prince and Jarrian Jones after them.

Andre Cisco and Antonio Johnson make up the starting safety group.

Bringing in seasoned veteran like Gilmore would be extremely beneficial in terms of leadership and, of course, more talent in the secondary. And having back four that can equal the front seven in terms of output would (hypothetically) elevate the defense to new level, maybe putting them in the top half of the league statistically.

That would bring the defense closer to Trevor Lawrence and the offense, which finished 14th and 13th in points and yards, respectively, last season.

The team spent a lot of money this offseason improving that offense. They signed wide receiver Gabe Davis and center Mitch Morse from the Buffalo Bills along with guard Brandon Scherff from the Washington Commanders and drafter WR Brian Thomas Jr. in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Signing Stephon Gilmore would give a similar boost to the defense and help the Jaguars compete in the suddenly super-tough AFC South against the also-improved Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts.

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