Skip to main content

Wheeling and Dealing: Who Are the 3 Best Contracts on the Jaguars?

After two years of spending, which contracts on the Jaguars roster have the most value as it stands today?

The Jacksonville Jaguars are hoping to turn a big, big corner in 2022. After four consecutive losing seasons and two years in a row as the worst team in the NFL, the Jaguars are looking for a bounceback.

One of the biggest ingredients of that potential bounce-back has been the overhaul of the roster over the last two offseasons. This has led to some big contracts paid out by the Jaguars and general manager Trent Baalke, contracts the Jaguars are hoping look like smart investments in the future.

But aside from the big contracts on the team, which players have the best contracts from a value standpoint? Which players may not have the biggest contract on the team but offer considerable bang for the Jaguars' buck? We break down three below.

EDGE Dawuane Smoot

Contract: two-year, $10 million with $5.25 million guaranteed.

It is hard to not see Dawuane Smoot as anything but a steal for the Jaguars. He is 48th in the NFL among EDGE rushers in average annual value and third on the Jaguars behind Travon Walker and Josh Allen. Despite being made like a middling pass-rusher and earning less money than players like Charles Harris and Uchenna Nwosu, Smoot's production over the last three years makes him a clear bargain.

Smoot has appeared in 48 of 49 games over the last three seasons, recording 17.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, 18 tackles for loss and 40 quarterback hits. There have been legitimate stretches where he looked like one of the better defenders on the roster during that span, and his improvement over the last three years has made him a complete bargain as a pass-rusher.

DL Arden Key

Contract: one-year, $4 million with $3 million guaranteed.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

Dawuane Smoot is a steal of a contract who should thrive as the Jaguars' No. 3 edge rusher instead of their No. 2. But Arden Key's value is in almost a different atmosphere entirely considering the Jaguars signed him for less money than any other free agent they signed this year and quite a few of the free agents they signed last year. Key is an ascending player who can rush from the inside and outside of a formation and gives the Jaguars a much-improved third-down pass-rush, all for just $3 million guaranteed.

Key, who was coached by Jaguars defensive line coach Brentson Buckner in 2019, had a career resurgence with the 49ers last season. In 17 regular-season games in 2021, Key set career-highs in sacks (6.5), tackles for loss (5), quarterback hits (17), and pressures (36). He is coming off the best year of his career and has a chance to repeat it with the Jaguars considering the role and scheme he is in. For the Jaguars to invest such a small contract in him after a career season that saw him garner a lot of interest in free agency is nothing but a win for Jacksonville.

RB James Robinson

Contract: three-year, $2.290 million with $25,000 guaranteed.

There couldn't be another answer, right? No player summarizes value more than Robinson, one of the most underappreciated running backs in all of football. Due to the undrafted free agent deal he signed as a rookie in 2020, the Jaguars have one of the biggest surplus values in the entire NFL in Robinson.

As a rookie, Robinson carried the ball 240 times for 1,070 yards (4.5 yards per carry) for seven touchdowns. He led rookie running backs in receptions (49) and touchdown receptions (three) while recording 344 yards. In 14 games, Robinson finished with 1,414 scrimmage yards (1,070 rushing, 344 receiving), the most scrimmage yards by an undrafted rookie in the common-draft era. He was also the only rookie in the NFL to average more than 100 scrimmage yards per game in 2020.

Last year saw Robinson deal with injuries throughout the second-half of the year, but during the first half of the year he was one of the NFL's most efficient and impactful backs. He is a true three-down back who, when healthy, has proven he can be among the NFL's best. Getting him for under $1 million a year is practically stealing.