Could the 1-5 Jacksonville Jaguars truly be buyers at the NFL Trade Deadline? That remains to be seen, but it certainly appears there is a greater than 0% chance based on the messaging coming from head coach Urban Meyer.
“I know we meet on it every day. We already met on it today, so the phone is buzzing," Meyer said on Wednesday when asked about the deadline.
"I don’t know all that yet, but I know if there’s a chance to make us better, we listen.”
Jacksonville hasn't been shy around the trade deadline in recent years, trading for Marcell Dareus and dealing Dante Fowler Jr. to the Los Angeles Rams since 2017. But this is a new Jaguars regime, now led by Meyer and general manager Trent Baalke as opposed to Tom Coughlin, Dave Caldwell, and Doug Marrone.
And so far to this point, the Meyer/Baalke era has been more about unloading their own players for picks as opposed to browsing the trade market for upgrades. Since Meyer and Baalke have been hired, they have traded the likes of Josh Oliver, Gardner Minshew, Joe Schobert, Sidney Jones, CJ Henderson, and Josiah Scott.
Meanwhile, they have acquired just two players in trades: Defensive tackle Malcom Brown in March and tight end Dan Arnold in the CJ Henderson trade after Week 3.
But could the Jaguars change their approach, even while sitting at 1-5 and in third-place in the AFC South? It certainly appears the team is open to the possibility, especially when it comes to the wide receiver position.
“We’re having that hard conversation. So much of it [is] who’s going to be healthy the rest of the year and also what is [what] we keep on offense, how do you build this around your quarterback? What exactly do we need?" Meyer said about the Nov. 2 deadline on Monday.
"The thing we don’t have is when DJ [Chark Jr.] went down, do we have that home run hitter on the outside? I think Laviska [Shenault Jr.]’s playing very well. Marvin [Jones Jr.]’s playing really well. We’re just one speed guy short. It might be [Jamal] Agnew, maybe it’s Tyron [Johnson], maybe it’s something else.”
The Jaguars have badly missed a deep threat on the field ever since Chark sustained a season-ending ankle injury on the opening drive of Week 4. Chark was the Jaguars' lone true deep threat on the depth chart to start the season, and former Chargers receiver Tyron Johnson has earned zero snaps in the two games Chark has missed since his injury, casting doubt into whether the Jaguars see a role for him even in a post-Chark offense.
"Yeah, it hurts a little bit. That’s where Tyron [Johnson] has to come on," Meyer said about the team's lack of vertical speed.
"The guy that’s really come on is [Jamal] Agnew. If you watch that Miami Dolphin game close, he was open. He had a couple where he pulled away. He’s our best separator right now. But an offense without speed on the outside, like elite speed, that’s the first time I’ve had to deal with that.”
Meanwhile, receivers seem to be a hot topic when it comes to this year's trade market. Players like Brandin Cooks, Odell Beckham Jr, Robby Anderson, Michael Thomas, and Denzel Mims have all been rumored to potentially be on the market. For a team like the Jaguars who are missing a big-play threat, any of the above would make sense ... if the Jaguars are seriously entering the deadline period as legitimate buyers.