NFL free agency is off and running, and we're keeping track of every major signing, trade and release of the 2023 offseason, with analysis from our NFL Nation reporters and grades from our experts. The new league year has begun, which means free agent signings can be made official. The first round of the 2023 NFL draft begins April 27 on ESPN.
The Jaguars gave out a total of $175.3 million in guaranteed money a year ago -- headlined by the $37 million to receiver Christian Kirk, $30 million to right guard Brandon Scherff, $28 million to linebacker Foyesade Oluokun and $20 million to defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi -- to set an NFL record. But don't expect that this year. When the season ended, Jaguars GM Trent Baalke said he wanted to build the team through the draft, instead of free agency.
In free agency, at least three Jaguars have agreed to deals elsewhere: OT Jawaan Taylor to the Kansas City Chiefs, TE Chris Manhertz to the Denver Broncos and LB Arden Key to the Tennessee Titans.
Here's a breakdown of every 2023 NFL free agent signing by the Jaguars, and how each will impact the upcoming season:
Michael Dogbe, defensive end
What it means: The Jaguars are trying to upgrade their depth along the defensive line. Dobge started five of 40 career games for the Cardinals and has two sacks and 61 tackles. He played a career-high 282 snaps last season in a rotational role and that's the same role he'll fill in Jacksonville.
What's the risk: The Jaguars are still looking for players that can help with the pass rush (Dogbe has two sacks and four QB hits in his career), but they're hampered a bit by their salary cap space. Free agent Calais Campbell visited with Pederson and the Jags recently, but there remains no movement there.
Henry Mondeaux, defensive end
What it means: Mondeaux heads into his fourth NFL season as a new member of the Jaguars after starting four games with the Giants last season and had 16 tackles. He's another depth signing to back up DaVon Hamilton and Folorunso Fatukasi.
What's the risk: Unfortunately, Mondeaux doesn't bring much to the interior pass rush (two career sacks), which is an area the Jaguars wanted to address this offseason.
D’Ernest Johnson, running back
Johnson has reached a one-year deal with the Jaguars, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
What it means: The Jaguars are looking for someone to complement Travis Etienne Jr. as well someone they can rely on in a major role if Etienne gets injured. Johnson did that for the Cleveland Browns in 2021 when RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt were both injured. As a result, Johnson started against the Denver Broncos and ran for a career-high 146 yards, and also ran for 99 yards in the only other game he started that season. His 141 carries makes him the most experienced back on the team behind Etienne.
What's the risk: It'll be interesting to see how the rotation behind Etienne plays out in camp. The Jaguars re-signed JaMycal Hasty and added Qadree Ollison in February to go along with Snoop Conner (fifth-round pick in 2022) and Mekhi Sargent, who spent last season on the practice squad. If Johnson wins the No. 2 job, how would that impact Etienne's workload?
Tre Herndon, cornerback
The Jaguars have re-signed Herndon to a one-year deal. According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the deal is worth $2.6 million guaranteed.
What it means: Herndon has started as both an outside corner and a nickel corner in his five seasons (30 starts) with the Jaguars. He also has been a solid contributor on special teams. He appears to be the early leader to win the nickel job in 2023, though he's better suited to be an outside corner. However, those positions are set with Tyson Campbell and Darious Williams, who began the 2022 season as the nickel back but moved outside later in the season and played his best football.
What's the risk: The Jaguars, normally one of the more aggressive teams in free agency, have been quiet the first week. They've instead concentrated on re-signing their own players. The Jaguars have very limited cap space left, so they'll be bargain shopping as the month comes to a close.
Andrew Wingard, safety
The Jaguars re-signed Wingard to a three-year deal, ESPN has confirmed.
What it means: The Jaguars are bringing back one of their special teams stalwarts and backup safety. Wingard is a locker room favorite who came up with the slogan "It was always the Jaguars" during their late-season surge to the AFC South title. Wingard had 37 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception playing mainly as a backup safety (three starts) or extra defensive back.
What's the risk: There is no risk on special teams, but the Jaguars would like to upgrade the depth at the safety position behind Andre Cisco and Rayshawn Jenkins. They'll likely address that during the draft but at least with Wingard the team has someone familiar with the defense, and someone who he has made some big plays at times.
Tevaughn Campbell, cornerback
The Jaguars bring back Campbell on a one-year deal.
What it means: Campbell played in five games in 2022 as a depth cornerback and special teams player. He started 14 games for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2021 and was with the Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders for the first two months of the 2022 season before joining the Jaguars. The Jaguars are looking for a nickel cornerback (they haven't re-signed Tre Herndon yet) and Campbell could find himself in that mix.
What's the risk: None. The 29-year-old Campbell gives the Jaguars an experienced bench player (he played four seasons in the CFL before the last four in the NFL) who can spot start if needed.
Adam Gotsis, defensive end
The Jaguars have re-signed Gotsis to a two-year deal.
What it means: Gotsis has been a solid depth player in his three seasons with the Jaguars, compiling 4.5 sacks, 19 QB hits and 83 tackles. Gotsis was a 14-game starter in 2020 but has started only five the past two seasons. He's the fourth player the Jaguars have re-signed over the past week. Beefing up the interior of the defensive line, especially the pass rush, is one of the Jaguars' top priorities in the offseason. Gotsis has played inside at times, but is better outside.
What's the risk: The Jaguars haven't re-signed end Dawuane Smoot (torn Achilles) but are interested in bringing him back. They can wait a while longer on that because it's unlikely that Smoot will get much interest because of his injury. Smoot has been one of the team's more consistent pass rushers (22.5 sacks) the past four seasons.