While Allen Robinson’s impending free agency has been the biggest news for the Jacksonville Jaguars has been the biggest news of the week here in north Florida, there are other issues the team must resolve with its wide receivers this offseason.
Marqise Lee is soon to be a free agent as well. Allen Hurns is set to make $7 million this coming season. The Jaguars must decide if both are part of the team’s plan for the 2018 season. Lee has already been linked to the Chicago Bears and other teams could look to sign him as a mid-range free agent, somewhere in the neighborhood of $7-$8 million per season.
Hurns, who along with Robinson and Lee, is part of the 2014 rookie class as an undrafted free agent out of Miami, may be brought back at a reduced salary, or as cbssorts.com reports, he could be released, saving the team more money to pursue free agents.
Per the online story, Hurns quickly burst onto the scene with 1,708 yards and 16 touchdowns over his first two seasons, prompting the Jaguars to give him a four-year, $40.65 million extension in June of 2017. He’s since been limited to 961 yards and five touchdowns in 21 appearances, producing only 7.3 yards per target while missing 15 games due to injury the past two years.
Robinson and Lee are both set to become unrestricted free agents, but Jacksonville nonetheless has some flexibility at wideout after getting solid rookie seasons out of Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook.
The belief is Hurns probably would need to accept a significant pay cut on his $7 million salary to stay in Jacksonville. The Jaguars can afford to take a wait-and-see approach, perhaps angling for a pay cut rather than a release if they’re unable to re-sign Robinson or Lee.
The news about Robinson this week could allow the Jaguars to look at other free agents set to test the market. One who may become the focal point of the organization is Sammy Watkins, who was drafted by the Buffalo Bills as the fourth overall pick in 2014 and was traded to the Los Angeles Rams last season. A deal for Watkins may not cost as much as $16 million per season it would take to re-sign Robinson, or the franchise tag Jarvis Landry signed before he was traded to the Cleveland Browns on Friday.
Prior to the end of last season, the Green Bay Packers signed Devante Adams to a four-year, $58 million extension.
Atlanta’s Taylor Gabriel and Indianapolis’ Donte Moncrief could also be in the mix of players the Jaguars reach out next week once free agency becomes official March 14.