Bold Free Agent Signings: AFC South

The NFL Fan Blitz Staff soldiers on through the NFL landscape to predict bold free agent signings, this time settling in the AFC South.

Jacksonville Jaguars: TE Jared Cook

With the Jaguars expected to move on from TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, it opens up a big hole to fill in the Jaguars offense. New offensive coordinator John DeFilippo has historically gotten high output from his tight ends regardless of the team he was with. One could argue that he has had highly talented tight ends to work with but he also managed to get 1000 receiving yards out of Gary Barnidge in 2015.

With such a big role to fill expect the Jaguars to address this need not only in the draft but in FA as well. One of the best receiving tight ends on the market is Jared Cook. Cook would make a lot of sense for the team as he is on the last leg of his career at age 31 so he could fill a need this season and mentor a rookie as well.

He would also make financial sense for the team, as he is coming off a two-year $10 Million deal with the Raiders. If the Jaguars can secure Cook for less than $5 million a year, it would be a perfect fit for DeFilippo and the Jaguars.

– Jacob DeFee

Indianapolis Colts: WR Golden Tate

To any rational fan of the Indianapolis Colts, the 2018 season was an undeniable success. A number of positional groups pleasantly surprised fans. The tight ends, linebackers and offensive lineman were the most obvious examples of growth this season. There was, however, one position group that stuck out to most fans as underwhelming; the wide receivers.

Whether it was a lack of talent at the position or Andrew Luck’s historical tendency to funnel targets to the tight end position, Colts fans can agree that it wouldn’t hurt to add some talent to a fairly shallow receiver position.

A bold, and presumably wise free agent signing for the Colts to make would be Golden Tate, the wide receiver formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles. With TY Hilton occupying the deep regions of the field, and the tight ends making plays over the middle, Tate would add a new element to the passing attack by pumping up the short game with his elite yards after catch ability.

Tate has proven over multiple seasons a consistent ability to gain yards after the catch, an area which is largely inconsistent for most receivers, year over year. Having a reliable a prolific player in a shorter area could be just what Andrew Luck needs to help cut down the high turnover numbers that have plagued him throughout his career.

Adding Tate to a group which features Hilton and a bunch of relatively unproven players would increase efficiency and potentially propel the Colts’ offense to new heights.

– Kyle Martens

Houston Texans: RT Daryl Williams

The best free agent acquisitions in today’s NFL landscape are a match of an overlooked player with a perfect fit to fill what has been a problematic spot.

Deshaun Watson taking a league-high 62 sacks is one such problem, and it needs to be solved if Watson’s injury history is any indicator. If Julién Davenport is to remain on the left side where he started 13 games this season, despite his 12 penalties this year, they’ll need a strong right tackle like Carolina’s Daryl Williams.

Williams is coming off of knee troubles that forced him to miss almost all of the 2018 season. But before the injury, the former fourth-round pick was on his way toward a big payday after earning a starting job with the Panthers. Of course, an injured player always comes with risk, but with just shy of 15 million in projected cap space and Jadeveon Clowney and half the secondary waiting to get paid, Williams could be the perfect bargain for the 2019 Texans.

– Kai Brewer

Tennessee Titans: DE Trey Flowers

Most Titan fans would want a wide receiver such as Golden Tate. But that wouldn’t be a truly ‘bold’ signing. The retirement of Brian Orakpo, pending unrestricted free agent status of Derrick Morgan, and the overall youth of the Titans outside linebacker group leads me to suggest that the boldest signing would be Trey Flowers from the New England Patriots.

Flowers is coming off his best year as a pro with 7.5 sacks, 32 solo tackles and would be an immediate help to the Titans pass rush. Signing yet another New England Patriot as the team continues to try to build a championship caliber team is, for the Tennessee Titans, about as bold of a move that fans should expect this off-season.

– Joseph Dugger

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