Jacksonville Jaguars RUMORS: Malik Jackson, Olivier Vernon Free Agent Targets

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Feb 19, 2016 10:48 AM EST
Malik Jackson
Denver Broncos
Defensive End"

The Jacksonville Jaguars have high expectations for the 2016 season, as owner Shad Kahn stated that he expects the team to be "well above" where they finished last season. Kahn decided to stick with continuity in keeping head coach Gus Bradley for a fourth season, and the Jaguars front office will look to get him some dynamic players this offseason, as Jacksonville is expected to be one of the top spenders in free agency, according to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole.

The Jaguars are reportedly targeting pass rushers in free agency this offseason, and two potential free agent targets to keep an eye on are Broncos defensive lineman Malik Jackson and Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon. Jackson was a key defensive playmaker for the Broncos on their Super Bowl run this past season, and recorded 45 combined tackles, five sacks, and defended seven passes.

Jackson will be one of the top free agent targets on the market this offseason, as multiple teams have interest in the 26-year-old pass rusher. While Jackson could be a potential fit in Jacksonville, Vernon may be a harder task to sign. The Dolphins are trying to keep Vernon this offseason, and are reportedly working on a contract extension with defensive end Cameron Wake, which could open the door for the franchise tag on Vernon.

The Free agency period officially begins on March 9, and expect the Jaguars to be heavy shoppers this offseason. Jacksonville finished 20th in the league with 36 total teams sacks last season, and are looking to develop their pass rush with free agent acquisitions.  

Jacksonville is clearly trying to improve on the defensive side of the ball, and ESPN's Mel Kiper has projected them to select defensive back Jalen Ramsey with the fifth pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Jaguars finished with a 5-11 record last season, and the hope is that the additions of some playmakers this offseason will make them playoff contenders in 2016.

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