Two and a half years ago, the Jaguars had a fourth-quarter lead over the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. The Jaguars would go on to lose, but their future looked bright, thanks to a dominant defense that had six Pro Bowlers.
Today’s trade of Yannick Ngakoue to the Vikings means all six of those Pro Bowlers are now gone.
The Jaguars have moved on from all those Pro Bowlers because of a combination of salary disputes, personal issues and an effort to reshape the roster: Jalen Ramsey was traded to the Rams, A.J. Bouye was traded to the Broncos, Calais Campbell was traded to the Ravens, Malik Jackson was released and now plays for the Eagles and Telvin Smith retired.
The results have not been good. Since a Week Two win over the Patriots in 2018 had some describing the Jaguars as the team of the future in the AFC, Jacksonville is just 9-21.
The Jaguars are a reminder of how quickly things can change in the NFL. Just two years ago tey appeared to have the best young defense in football, and now the building blocks of that defense are gone.