By Julie Dixon // @ABroncoNole
Three big changes will be coming for the Jacksonville Jaguars. First, they will be getting new uniforms and helmets for 2018. I thought it was pretty cool that a team who plays in such heat wore all black, it gave out a tough vibe. It seems as though they’re going to go back to having teal as their main uniform.
This could be a win or a big lose depending on the shade. Once they had uniforms that were more baby blue teal and those were awful; hopefully, the teal chosen is far, far away from the Titans’ blue. The helmets won’t be two toned, but all black. The Gold/Black was a good idea, but without a fade were too “Mr Two Faced” for most fans.
One can guess the change is being done to sell more apparel and other items. Winning two play off games means new fans and an additional way to profit.
Speaking of profit, the next change is the tarps will be removed adding 3,500 seats. Finally, along with new seats will be higher ticket cost, but lower concession prices. Jags tickets have been among the least expensive in the league, so I doubt there will be a big jump.
On to other news, Blake Bortles has spent the last two seasons hurt. In 2016, he had two shoulder separations and tendonitis in his wrist. In 2017, the wrist deteriorated to the point it needed operating on.
In 2015, he threw 35 touchdowns which should be a barometer of what he can do when healthy. Combine this with good coaching and a $19M price tag, it’s doubtful Jacksonville will release him.
With that said, they could draft a QB just in case. If Bortles doesn’t take the next step, the Jags will have groomed the next guy in line, however, I don’t foresee them giving up any draft capital to get one. This is the first time in a decade Jacksonville will be picking in the bottom, making every pick that more precious.
Fortunately, Jacksonville is one of the few teams without big holes because they’ve spent the last three years having good draft position and cap space. They do have positions they’ll want to address though, but can be in the driver’s seat. Tight end, guard, linebacker and then wide receiver are their top needs. It wouldn’t surprise if they grab a guard first only because there are not as many good ones to chose from- in the draft or free agency.
On the free agent front, Jacksonville only has eight players on the list, also among the league’s fewest. Fan favorite, OLB Paul Posluszny along with QB Chad Henne, OLB Lerentee McCray, WR Marqise Lee, WR Allen Robinson, CB Aaron Colvin, G Patrick Omameh and SS Peyton Thompson.
I can see Posluszny giving a hometown discount, and possibly Bortles doing the same, because neither will be heavily sought after or find bigger contracts. Not to mention, Bortles may want to keep his salary lower in order to keep a wide receiver and go sign a free agent tight end. Of the above group, Colvin is the biggest question. Since he’s young, he may want to chase the big bucks which he won’t find in Jacksonville.
I’d hazard a guess that things will be relatively quiet in Duval compared to many teams. Don’t see any surprising moves coming anytime soon.
Talk Jaguars with Julie on Twitter // @ABroncoNole