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Jacksonville Jaguars Will Target a Safety in Free Agency

June 5th, 2011 at 8:18 PM
By Brendan Sonnone

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ top priority the remainder of the offseason will be adding a starting caliber safety—or safeties—once the NFL lockout ends.

John Oehser of Jaguars.com reported that Jacksonville general manager Gene Smith will look at improving the defensive side of the ball in free agency. More specifically, the Jaguars will target safeties.

San Diego Chargers safety Eric Weddle looks back as he runs back a fourth quarter interception against the Miami Dolphins for a touchdown during their NFL football game in San Diego, California September 27, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES SPORT FOOTBALL)

Defense was certainly Jacksonville’s weak link last season and poor play from the safety position was really the origin of the unit’s problems. Linebacker wasn’t much better, but you have to believe that the revolving door at safety really created a ripple effect throughout the defense.

One potential idea to fix the problem is to move the aging Rashean Mathis (30) or the lengthy Derek Cox to free safety, although that then creates a gap at cornerback, which is far from a position of strength. 

There is the possibility that Terrell Whitehead, who was placed on injured reserve in August, or rookie Chris Prosinski could be potential fits, but both players are young and it would be risky to place too much confidence in either of them at this point in their careers. The same could be said for Courtney Greene.

So in order to mend that position, expect Smith to devote the rest of the offseason to upgrading both free safety and strong safety.

Gregg Rosenthal of ProFootballTalk.com writes that Michael Huff of the Oakland Raiders is a viable option:

"Instead of focusing on cornerbacks, it sounds like the Jaguars will do everything possible to upgrade their revolving door at safety.  So Jacksonville looks unlikely to enter the Nnamdi Asomugha sweepstakes, but they could be in the mix for someone like Michael Huff."

Huff is intriguing due to his versatility.

Eric Weddle of the San Diego Chargers is another candidate that makes sense and Pro Football Weekly reports that the Jaguars are interested in the free safety.

“Safety, linebacker and defensive end are all areas where upgrades are needed, and a popular name that we are hearing is Chargers FS Eric Weddle.”

Weddle is obtainable and would provide a definite upgrade at the position.

Look for veterans that still offer some value, such as Darren Sharper, to also be targets for the Jaguars. 

Tags: Chris Prosinski, Courtney Greene, Darren Sharper, Eric Weddle, Football, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Michael Huff, NFL, Terrell Whitehead

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