Smith spent big money on a number of defensive free agents last year, but warns that he won’t be as aggressive this time around.
“What took place last year won’t be the case this year,” Smith told Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union. “It’s not a place we want to be overly active year in and year out.”
Jacksonville wants to build through the draft. Of course, they wanted to build through the draft last year and they built largely though free agency. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Jacksonville make a big signing or two, but Smith doesn’t want to sign so many starters this time around. Smith says new owner Shad Khan is on board with the approach.
“I think he understands the philosophy is to build your team through the draft,” Smith said. “I think most teams have figured that out. Where you don’t want to be is in pro free agency year in and year out. That’s not our philosophy. It’s to supplement the college draft.”
We’d argue they need starters at wide receiver, defensive end, and cornerback. They also need a backup quarterback and depth on the offensive line.
If Smith keeps his word and bids cautiously in free agency, he will need to have one terrific draft class.