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3 Observations on the Jaguars Signing Dawuane Smoot

What does the Dawuane Smoot signing mean for the Jaguars' defense?

The Jacksonville Jaguars made a well-received move this week, re-signing veteran defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot to a one-year deal with a max value of $6.25M and $3.25M in guarantees. 

But what does the Smoot signing really mean for the Jaguars and their pass-rush? We break it down. 

Jacksonville retained a well-respected and versatile pass-rusher 

There is a reason so many Jaguars fans kept bringing up Dawuane Smoot this offseason -- and there is a reason the Jaguars have had interest in retaining him dating back to even before his injury. At the time of his Achilles injury against the New York Jets in Week 16, Smoot was second on the team in pressures, fourth in quarterback hits, first in sacks, and second in pass-rush win rate. A healthy Smoot is an efficient inside/outside rusher who would be a solid No. 3 pass-rusher for most teams, while also being one of the most respected players in the locker room. 

There are caveats, of course. Smoot's rehab has reportedly gone extremely well, but we saw just last year the potential impact of Achilles injuries with James Robinson. Robinson started the year off strong before injuries mounted up and, eventually, led to him being traded to the New York Jets. How much Smoot can truly help the pass-rush in his return from a significant injury is a legitimate question, but there is no doubting what he brings to the table on the field when he is healthy, and he will surely be a boost off the field, too. 

The Jaguars shouldn't be content with the pass-rush after Smoot's signing 

While the re-signing of Smoot was an important and much-needed move for the Jaguars, they shouldn't let this one signing satisfy them. Smoot is a good player and is well-liked by all inside the building, but those feelings shouldn't shadow the fact that he is still a question mark entering the season due to his recovery. As a result, the Jaguars shouldn't be content with sitting on their hands when it comes to the rest of the pass-rush market.

There aren't many pass-rushers on the market who are perfect fits with the Jaguars like Smoot is. Any pass-rusher the Jaguars would sign would have to be content with a smaller one-year deal and a role as a backup pass-rusher. The Jaguars have cap space to spend but that doesn't mean they're going to spend it all in one spot, while it is also unlikely anyone they sign could start since they have Josh Allen and Travon Walker in the fold. 

When should the Jaguars expect Smoot to be back?

Smoot's return to the field is ultimately still several months away and is something that nobody can put a true timetable on. But according to a source with knowledge of the situation, the expectation is for Smoot to return sometime in October. As things stand today, a potential Week 6 matchup vs. the Colts on Oct. 15, the Thursday Night Football game vs. the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 19, or the Week 8 tilt against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Oct. 29 seem like the most likely return dates.

This means that Smoot would miss at least Weeks 1 through 5, a span of games that consists of contests vs. the Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons, and the Buffalo Bills. Considering two of those games are against AFC South opponents and two more are against potential top seeds in the AFC, and this isn't exactly the most ideal stretch for Smoot to miss.