With the Super Bowl in the rearview mirror, the Jaguars can start their offseason planning in full force. This week's Jaguars Mailbag features questions regarding the draft, free agency and more.
@llamafeed asks: If the Jaguars draft an offensive tackle with #29, is he more likely to move inside or would Jermey Parnell get the ax?
Mike Kaye: I am always in favor of drafting offensive tackles early and having them start inside to begin their careers. Parnell played well when healthy this past season and I still think he has a lot left in the tank. His 2018 salary also ranks 15th among NFL right tackles, according to OverTheCap.com. With a $5 million price tag, I can't see the Jaguars moving on.
I think if the Jaguars were to draft a college tackle with the 29th overall pick, they should use that player at left or right guard during his first season. Patrick Omameh is set to become a free agent and is a journeyman. You could always re-sign Omameh and have the rookie compete with him and A.J. Cann for one of the two guard spots.
While the offensive line played above expectations this season, adding depth and forcing competition would be ideal. I do think the Jaguars should target a lineman early. Teams that build in the trenches typically control the line of scrimmage. The Jaguars' running game needs to be its strength and upgrading the line would help in that regard.
PHOTOS: A recap of Jaguars QB Blake Bortles' 2017 season
@NNation365 asks: Should the Jaguars try to pursue quarterbacks like Case Keenum or a draft a quarterback for the future?
MK: If the Jaguars decide to keep Blake Bortles - and I tend to believe they will - I would be very surprised if they brought in well-paid competition. Keenum is going to get paid relatively well this offseason. While he won't get the salary of Bortles' $19 million fifth-year option, Keenum should be seeing an eight-figure salary next year.
While the Eagles proved you can never spend too much on a backup quarterback, I would expect the Jaguars to lean toward the draft for quarterback reinforcements. While they're picking late in every round (that's what happen when you have success), the Jaguars should have options in the first and second-round range. The front office could also deem that the team is built and trade up for a Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen.
If you're bringing back Bortles, you either believe in him wholeheartedly or you view him as a strong stopgap for your hand-picked heir apparent. The Jaguars do need to find someone that they believe in behind Bortles because you never know when an injury or drop in performance can happen.
Ray Roberts asks: Any chance Jaguars go after Andrew Norwell or Justin Pugh in free agency or do they wait for the draft?
MK: There's always a chance. While Norwell has built up his brand over the last two seasons, I would prefer Pugh if I were in the Jaguars' front office.
Pugh is the more versatile of the pair. He played for football executive Tom Coughlin and offensive line coach Pat Flaherty when the trio was with the New York Giants. Pugh was also coached in college by Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. His familiarity with the staff should lend itself to his success in the scheme.
I think the team needs to address the offensive line in one way or another. With the window for a Super Bowl open, I tend to think they should go with adding a veteran and a reasonably high draft pick to patch up the line and create competition.
Terrence Hayes asks: Isn't it smarter and more economical to lock Allen Robinson to a long-term contract this offseason rather than use the franchise tag?
MK: In short: yes.
The Jaguars need to figure out if they are willing to invest long-term in a 24-year-old former Pro Bowl wide receiver. He is coming off an ACL injury but a league source told me that his rehab is going very well. Robinson is just two years removed from a 1,400-yard, 14-touchdown season.
The franchise tag would be a pretty healthy salary for Robinson and prevent the Jaguars from investing elsewhere. Ideally, giving Robinson a strong one-year "prove it" deal or a team-friendly short-term contract would make sense. Reaching a three-year pact would allow Robinson to cash in twice by the time he is 27, which is beneficial for both sides.
It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out because it will directly impact Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee. The franchise tag would probably force the Jaguars to move on from both Hurns and Lee. A solid short-term deal could help the team keep at least two of the 2014 draft class members.
While a multi-year deal would be an ideal situation, there are logical reasons for using the franchise tag. If Robinson and the Jaguars can't reach an agreement, the team will most likely want to keep their best offensive player on the books and the tag could be their only course of action. Also, if the Jaguars are concerned with Robinson's injury recovery, it makes sense to let the situation play out and not make a large gamble on the player.
European Jaguars asks: What position do you believe is the Jags number one requirement to upgrade in free agency/draft?
MK: We have dwelled on the offensive line in this edition of the mailbag but I'd say the tight end position is a huge area of need. Bortles or his successor will need a true safety net next season.
Marcedes Lewis was fantastic in the red zone this past season but I believe the offense needs a dynamic playmaker in the open field. A strong pass-catching tight end across the middle would allow the Jaguars to implement more run-pass options, play-fakes and force safeties to mind the passing game even further.
The league has become highly-dependent on play-making tight ends. Look at what Zach Ertz, Rob Gronkowski, Kyle Rudolph and others have done for their respective offenses. This Jaguars' offense could become much more dynamic with an upgrade in that aspect.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter and ask him your questions: @Mike_E_Kaye.