Alualu may have the most interesting situation of the Jaguars' free agents

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The Jaguars have 10 players set to hit unrestricted free agency on March 9.

Of those impending free agents, defensive tackle Tyson Alualu has been with the team longest. He might also have the most intriguing setup entering free agency.

Alualu probably isn't the most talented or the most in-demand Jaguars player set to hit the open market. However, he does offer something the majority of the free agent class does not: versatility.

It is discussed all the time during the NFL Combine, but versatility and availability are the most desirable attributes that players can have at this level. 

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Alualu has never missed a game due to injury in his seven-year career, but what's more impressive is his ability to move around the lineup at will.

He can play defensive end on either side of the line, he can lineup at nose tackle and one gap, and he can also pass rush from the three-technique spot. He is scheme versatile, as he can playing a 3-4 or 4-3 front.

His appeal on the open market should standout because of his unique set of skills. 

There are better nose tackles. There are better defensive ends. There are better inside pass rushers.

But very few can play all three positions.

There appears to be mutual interest on a Jaguars return for Alualu, but he is probably best served by hitting the open market.

Alualu is at the point in his career where he can continue to serve in a rotation and be effective as a "fastball" option. Last season, he was a healthy scratch in two games to start the season, but excelled as a run defender when he became a starter due to injury.

This will be Alualu's first time actually hitting the open market if he makes to March 9. It will be interesting to see if he can grab a more lucrative deal in elsewhere.

While the Jaguars have Abry Jones, Malik Jackson, Sen'Derrick Marks and Roy Miller signed to decent salaries, perhaps the Jaguars could still look to lock up Alualu. The team appreciates his versatility, but it will be a matter of how much it will cost them.

While Alualu has the background of being a "first round bust" (fair or not), he is an effective role player that could help the Jaguars or someone else this season.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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