New Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley have some tough decisions to make in the coming weeks about which of their own free agents they are going to try to re-sign.
Of all the pending free agents on the Jaguars roster, Caldwell’s top priority should be keeping cornerback Derek Cox in Jacksonville.
Cox has evolved into the Jaguars best cover corner in his four years in the NFL, but he has had a major problem staying healthy during his career. He has missed 17 games due to injury over the past three seasons and it is has been the nagging soft tissue injuries that have been his biggest problem.
Cox’s talent when he is on the field is undeniable, but will the Jaguars new front office be willing to give him the big contract his skills warrant despite his injury issues? All signs point to the Jaguars trying to keep Cox at a reasonable price, but will not use the franchise tag on him. The franchise tag for cornerbacks is going to be around $10 million which is too much to give Cox.
Without using the franchise tag, the Jaguars are going to likely have to compete for Cox with other teams who may be more willing to give him a big contract despite his injury risk. The trick will be whether or not Caldwell and Bradley can convince Cox that he is a core part of the future of this defense. Cox’s style of play is a perfect match for the new defense that Bradley will be running next season.
Keeping Cox in a Jaguars uniform would ease the team’s massive need at cornerback this offseason and would go a long way toward solidifying the future of the secondary.